2023 AJCU Commencement Speakers

It’s that time of year again! The following is a list of speakers and dates for the 2023 AJCU commencement ceremonies at the nation’s Jesuit colleges and universities. Pictured above: Oksana Markarova (Boston College), Yamiche Léone Alcindor (Georgetown University), U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) (Loyola University Chicago), Viet Thanh Nguyen, Ph.D. (Seattle University) and General Michael X. Garrett ’83 (Xavier University). All photos courtesy of Jesuit institutions, and/or Wiki Commons.

Boston College: May 22 (Undergraduate, Graduate), May 26 (Law)
Undergraduate, Graduate: Oksana Markarova (Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States), Law: Judy Woodruff (veteran broadcast journalist)

Canisius University: May 20 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Steve K. Stoute (president of Canisius University)

College of the Holy Cross: May 26
U.S. Senator Peter Welch ’69 (D-VT)

Creighton University: May 11 (School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, College of Nursing, School of Medicine), May 12 (Graduate School, School of Law, School of Dentistry), May 13 (Undergraduate)
Undergraduate: Sheila S. Boston (trial litigator and legal strategist)

Fairfield University: May 20 (Graduate), May 21 (Undergraduate)
Undergraduate: Marcela Orvañanos de Rovzar (founder of social and humanitarian organizations in Mexico and the U.S. dedicated to teaching financial literacy to Hispanic families), Graduate: Geoffrey Canada (president of the Harlem’s Children Zone)

Fordham University: May 20
Fordham University will award an honorary degree to singer-songwriter-composer Stevie Wonder during its ceremony.

Georgetown University: May 11 (Georgetown University in Qatar), May 18 (School of Nursing, McCourt School of Public Policy), May 19 (Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, School of Continuing Studies, McDonough School of Business [Graduate]), May 20 (College of Arts & Sciences, School of Health, McDonough School of Business [Undergraduate], Walsh School of Foreign Service), May 21 (School of Medicine, Georgetown Law)

Georgetown University in Qatar: Ayman Mohyeldin (MSNBC host of AYMAN), School of Nursing: Susan Orsega (Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health and the U.S. Surgeon General), McCourt School of Public Policy: Frank H. McCourt, Jr., C’75 (Founder of Project Liberty and Executive Chairman of McCourt Global), Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: Brian Greene (Professor of Physics and Mathematics and Director of the Center for Theoretical Physics at Columbia University), School of Continuing Studies: Jason Kander, L’05 (President of National Expansion at Veterans Community Project and Founder of the Afghan Rescue Project), McDonough School of Business [Graduate]: Igor Smelyansky, MBA’05 (CEO of Ukrainian Postal Service), College of Arts & Sciences: Yamiche Léone Alcindor, C’09 (NBC News Washington Correspondent), School of Health: Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones (Leverhulme Visiting Professor in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London), McDonough School of Business [Undergraduate]: Dan Helfrich, SFS’98, MBA’99 (Chair and CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP), Walsh School of Foreign Service: Dasha Navalnaya (Daughter of Imprisoned Russian Opposition Leader Alexey Navalny), School of Medicine: Dr. Joan Reede (Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership at Harvard University), Georgetown Law: Savannah Guthrie, L’02 (Co-Anchor of NBC NEWS’ Today and NBC News’ Chief Legal Correspondent)

Gonzaga University: May 13 (Law, Graduate), May 14 (Undergraduate)
Undergraduate: Dr. Robert “Rob” McCann (CEO of Catholic Charities Eastern Washington), Graduate: Janice Ikeda (executive director of the non-profit grassroots organization Vibrant Hawai’i), Law: Hon. Salvador Mendoza, Jr. (first Latino U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Washington)

John Carroll University: May 20 (Graduate), May 21 (Undergraduate)
Undergraduate: Michael R. Anderson, M.D. ’86 (Senior Advisor for the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), Graduate: Christopher M. Coburn ’79 (Chief Innovation Officer for Mass General Brigham)

Le Moyne College: May 19 (Graduate), May 21 (Undergraduate)
Undergraduate: Stephen Kuusisto (author, professor and disability rights activist), Graduate: Stephen J. Thomas, M.D. (infectious diseases physician and researcher at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse)

Loyola Marymount University: May 6 (Undergraduate), May 7 (Graduate), May 21 (Loyola Law School)
Undergraduate: Martin Sheen (veteran actor and social justice activist), Graduate: Ginni Rometty (former chair, president and CEO of IBM), Law: Hon. James E. Graves, Jr. (Judge of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Loyola University Chicago: May 9 (School of Education and School of Environmental Sustainability, Graduate School and Institute of Pastoral Studies), May 10 (Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health and School of Social Work), May 11 (Quinlan School of Business [Undergraduate, Graduate], School of Communication and School of Continuing and Professional Studies), May 12 (College of Arts and Sciences), May 13 (School of Law, Stritch School of Medicine)

School of Education and School of Environmental Sustainability: Mónica Ramírez, J.D., MPA, BA ’99 (Founder/President of Justice for Migrant Women; Co-founder of The Latinx House, Poderistas & Alianza Nacional De Campesinas), Graduate School and Institute of Pastoral Studies: Emilce Cuda, Ph.D., S.T.D. (Secretary, Pontifical Commission for Latin America), Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing: Donna Marie Wolowicki, CR, MBA, RN ’71, MSN ’75 (Provincial Superior, Chicago Based Sisters of the Resurrection), Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health and School of Social Work: Johnnie Thomas, Ed.D., MSW ’00 (Superintendent of Schools, Rich Township High School District 227), Quinlan School of Business [Undergraduate, Graduate]: Tom Hund, BBA ’76 (Former Executive Vice President/CFO, BNSF Railway Co.), School of Communication and School of Continuing and Professional Studies: Dom Merritt, BA ’10 (Chief People Officer, dscout), College of Arts and Sciences [Morning Ceremony]: Joseph A. Sheils, BA ’90 (Executive Vice President and President of Consumer and Digital Banking, Busey Bank), College of Arts and Sciences [Afternoon Ceremony]: Jeanne M. Wrenn, BA ’93, JD ’01 (Judge, Circuit Court of Cook County), College of Arts and Sciences [Evening Ceremony]: Plamen Petrov, Ph.D., MS ’92 (Chief Technology Officer, Hydrogen Health), School of Law: Vincent Rougeau, J.D. (President, College of the Holy Cross), Stritch School of Medicine: U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL)

Loyola University Maryland: May 20
Chris Lowney (author, social entrepreneur, and international speaker)

Loyola University New Orleans: May 12 (College of Law), May 13 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Undergraduate, Graduate: Jon Batiste (Grammy Award-winning musician), College of Law: Carl J. Barbier, J.D. ’70 (Senior U.S. District Court Judge)

Marquette University: May 20 (Undergraduate, Graduate School and Graduate School of Management)
Undergraduate: Marlee Matlin (Academy Award-winning actress), Graduate School and Graduate School of Management: John Gurda (noted writer and Milwaukee historian)

Regis University: April 29 (Graduate), April 30 (Undergraduate)
Undergraduate, Graduate: Rev. William O’Neill, S.J. (author and professor emeritus of social ethics at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University)

Rockhurst University: May 13
Undergraduate; Sarah Wilson (candidate for the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish), Graduate: Nathaniel Graham (candidate for the degree of Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders)

Saint Joseph’s University: May 18 (Doctoral Ceremony), May 20 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Undergraduate: Marlene Sánchez Dooner ’83 (former executive vice president of Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises), Graduate: Bryan Carter (president and CEO of the Gesu School), Doctoral Ceremony: Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. ’63 (president of Samaritan Health Initiatives)

Saint Louis University: May 20
John O’Leary, Cook ’99 (New York Times best-selling author and internationally recognized motivational speaker)

Saint Peter’s University: May 19
Michelle Miller (national correspondent for CBS News and co-host on CBS Saturday Morning)

Santa Clara University: June 17
Rev. Greg Boyle, S.J., STM ’86 (founder of Homeboy Industries)

Seattle University: June 12 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Undergraduate: Doug Baldwin, Jr. (former Seattle Seahawks NFL football player), Graduate: Viet Thanh Nguyen, Ph.D. (author and professor at the University of Southern California)

Spring Hill College: May 6
Lonnie G. Johnson (former NASA engineer and award-winning inventor of the Super Soaker)

The University of Scranton: May 21 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Undergraduate: James M. Murray II, Ph.D. ’90 (chief security officer for Snap, Inc., and former director of the U.S. Secret Service)

University of Detroit Mercy: May 12 (School of Dentistry, School of Law), May 13 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Undergraduate, Graduate: JoAnn Chávez (senior vice president and chief legal officer for DTE Energy), School of Dentistry: Barbara Purifoy-Seldon ’70, ’73 (academic and community leader in dentistry), School of Law: Hon. Michelle Rick ’91 (Judge for 4th Judicial District in Michigan)

University of San Francisco: May 18 (School of Nursing and Health Professions), May 19 (College of Arts and Sciences [Undergraduate, Graduate], School of Education), May 20 (School of Management [Undergraduate, Graduate, Professional Bachelor’s], School of Law)

School of Nursing and Health Professions: Margaret Doherty-Simor, RN, MSN, BSN ’84 (USF Board Member and Treasurer of The Interventional Initiative), College of Arts and Sciences [Undergraduate Humanities & Science]: Most Reverend Borys Gudziak (Metropolitan for Ukrainian Catholics in the United States, Archbishop of Philadelphia), College of Arts and Sciences [Undergraduate Arts & Social Science]: Tom Killion (Artist, Printmaker, and Fine Book Printer), College of Arts and Sciences [Graduate]: Michele A. Roberts (Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association), School of Education: L. Frank Manriquez (Tongva, Ajachemem, Rarámuri Elder, Multimedia Artist, and Tribal Scholar), School of Management [Undergraduate]: Christine Fischer Whelan, MBA (USF Vice Chair Emerita, Board of Trustees), School of Management [Professional Bachelor’s and Graduate]: Weijian Shan, Ph.D. (Executive Chairman, PAG), School of Law: Hon. Lucy Haeran Koh (Judge for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California)

Xavier University: May 13 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Undergraduate: General Michael X. Garrett ’83 (retired U.S. Army four-star general; executive leadership advisor, public speaker, and military family advocate), Graduate: Neil Tilow ’74, ‘80 M.S. (President and CEO of Talbert House)

Contact: Deanna Howes Spiro, Vice President of Communications, AJCU
(202) 862-9893, dhowes@ajcunet.edu