Members of this year’s graduating class truly embody the spirit of Magis and what it means to be Jesuit educated. As graduations continue this weekend, we congratulate all members of the class of 2016 and thank the AJCU Communications Network for sharing their inspiring stories with us.

Georgetown University Senior Karen Larios (Photo by AJCU)    

Georgetown University Senior Karen Larios (Photo by AJCU)



Graduates from Georgetown University include a Marshall Scholar; a Glamour Magazine College Woman of the Year; and our very own AJCU intern, Karen Larios! We are very proud of Karen, who will receive her bachelor’s degree from the McDonough School of Business next week. During her three years at AJCU, she has assisted our Vice President for Federal Relations, Cyndy Littlefield, by conducting extensive research on student financial aid. Of note, she spoke at our Congressional Breakfast last fall on Capitol Hill and wrote an essay on the personal impact of Georgetown’s scholarship program for the September 2013 issue of Connections.

Kyle Wiltjer is known for his great basketball skills, but he’s also excelled as a student at Gonzaga University, earning both a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a MBA. Click here to read about Wiltjer and his fellow Zags in the class of 2016.

Among Loyola University Chicago’s graduates are Keenen Stevenson, who will join Teach for America next fall; Maggie Bednarz, who will pursue graduate studies in veterinary medicine; and Tanner Walters, who will be a full-time writing intern for a PR firm in Chicago.

Xavier University graduates include Jack Carey, whose internship experience with Conan O’Brien inspired the popular #XUGameDay video series; Jacob Khoury, who spent last summer studying evolutionary medicine in Peru on a Xavier fellowship; and Eliot Isaac, Cincinnati’s police chief who is now a proud graduate of the University’s Master of Human Resource Development program.

Xavier University Senior Jack Carey (Photo by Xavier University)    

Xavier University Senior Jack Carey (Photo by Xavier University)



On May 23rd, Boston College janitor Fred Vautour will see the youngest of his five children graduate, joining all of her siblings as BC alumni. How did Vautour put them all through Boston College? His heartwarming story is featured in The Boston Globe.

Regis University student Brandie Bernstein also received media coverage this spring for her story of beating the odds: Denver’s NBC affiliate covered her journey from homelessness and drug addiction to graduating with a Master’s degree in criminology last month. More Regis graduates include Jack McGrane, who founded a summer camp for kids of families affected by cancer, and Opal Anderson, who earned a bachelor’s degree after fourteen years of perseverance.

With help from the California Innocence Project, Loyola Marymount University student Franky Carrillo, Jr. left prison in 2011 after spending 20 years fighting a wrongful conviction. Last weekend, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from LMU.

Saint Joseph’s University graduates include disabilities advocate Ather Sharif, enology enthusiast Conor McCaney, and Kathleen Rodgers and Chrissy Miseo, two members of the first class of Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support Apprentice SCHOLARS.

This year’s three student commencement speakers at Canisius University are first-generation college student Michael J. Hockwater; Canisius University Undergraduate Student Association president Richard J. Kubiak; and Maria Ngo Ta, who will serve with AmeriCorps this fall. Click here to read their stories.

Two members of the class of 2016 spent their time at Loyola University New Orleans conducting incredible research in STEM fields: Linda Hexter studied the Nielsen Theory for functions of homotopy idempotents and Richard Bustos studied pressure, temperature and humidity for a NASA-funded research project.

Among Rockhurst University‘s graduates are Rebeca Arias, who will study medicine at Saint Louis University on a Navy scholarship; Quang Nguyen, who will graduate this weekend with three bachelor’s degrees; and Davies Sitenta, a native of Zambia who came to study in the U.S. to pursue his dream of becoming an international economist.

Wheeling Jesuit University Graduates Joe Probert '11, Stephen Probert '16 and Michael Probert '14 (Photo by Wheeling Jesuit University)    

Wheeling Jesuit University Graduates Joe Probert ’11, Stephen Probert ’16 and Michael Probert ’14 (Photo by Wheeling Jesuit University)



On the West Coast, Seattle University senior Jennifer Cruz has earned a Fulbright scholarship to study cancer prevention in India, and Sara Beery has earned a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to study robotics and computer vision. At Santa Clara University, the LEAD Scholars Program has helped several first-generation students graduate with college degrees. For Ryan Eppley, majoring in the humanities at the University of San Francisco led him toward a career as a venture capitalist, and for Nina Torres, her USF education inspired her to pursue a career in immigration advocacy.

Last weekend, Stephen Probert became the last of his siblings to graduate from Wheeling Jesuit University. Not only did all three brothers graduate from the same university, they all had the same major, served in music ministry and played rugby! Click here to learn more.

Loyola University Maryland has created a Tumblr exclusively for #graduatinggreyhounds to share their stories and favorite memories from Loyola. And Fordham University conducted an interview with two seniors from the University’s two main campuses, who shared their perspectives on college life in New York, from Manhattan to the Bronx.

This year, College of the Holy Cross created a video series of interviews with graduating seniors who shared their favorite memories and plans for the future. The students include Holy Cross valedictorian Emily Conn; Anthony John, who will study at Harvard Divinity School this fall; and Chris Morgan, who starred on the Holy Cross men’s basketball team that won the Patriot League Tournament this year.

Saint Louis University conducted interviews with students from the class of 2016 to find out how they were impacted by their Jesuit education. From becoming more reflective and moved to fight injustice, to learning how to seek the greater good, their responses are all testaments to Jesuit education; click here to learn more.

Marquette University senior Matt McCarthy always knew that Marquette would be the perfect home for college; in honor of his upcoming graduation, his mother shared her family’s story. Marquette has also published a great piece on Medium: 15 Life Lessons for Graduating Seniors.

Creighton University senior Hannah M. Smith has earned a Fulbright to teach English in Spain this fall. Fairfield University shared profiles of two seniors, Daniel Horstmann and Claretta Mills, whose intended career paths after graduation have been inspired by faith and service.

Among those graduating from Le Moyne College on Sunday are: Jean-Philippe Rancy, who worked on faculty-led research to make maritime navigation safer; Brianna Natale, recipient of a 2016 Fulbright that will take her to the Netherlands later this year, and class speaker Kwasi Yeboah. Profiles of other seniors can be found here.

Please note: This list will be updated throughout May; please send any stories to Deanna Howes, AJCU’s Director of Communications: