It’s that time of year again! We are pleased to share the speakers and dates for the 2024 commencement ceremonies at Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States and Belize.

Boston College: May 20 (Undergraduate, Graduate), May 24 (Law)
Undergraduate, Graduate: Cardinal Stephen Chow, S.J. (Bishop of Hong Kong), Law: Lara E. Montecalvo ‘00 (Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit)

Canisius University: May 18
Hon. Brian M. Higgins (president and COO for Shea’s Performing Arts Center; former member of U.S. House of Representatives)

College of the Holy Cross: May 24
Laurie Leshin (Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); former president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

Creighton University: May 9 (School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, College of Nursing, School of Medicine), May 10 (Graduate School, School of Law, School of Dentistry), May 11 (Undergraduate)
Nicholas D. Kristof (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, New York Times columnist and humanitarian)

Fairfield University: May 18 (Graduate), May 19 (Undergraduate)
Undergraduate: Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano (Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport), Graduate: Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León (Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization; former president of Mexico)

Fordham University: May 18
Joseph Patrick Kennedy III (U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs; former member of U.S. House of Representatives)

Georgetown University: May 9 (Georgetown University in Qatar), May 16 (School of Continuing Studies, McCourt School of Public Policy), May 17 (Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, School of Nursing, McDonough School of Business [Graduate]), May 18: College of Arts & Sciences, School of Health, McDonough School of Business [Undergraduate], Walsh School of Foreign Service), May 19 (School of Medicine, Georgetown Law)

Georgetown University in Qatar: Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma (Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Republic of South Africa); School of Continuing Studies: Norah O’Donnell (C’95, G’03) (Anchor and Managing Editor of CBS Evening News); McCourt School of Public Policy: Todd Park (Co-Founder and Executive Chair, Devoted Health); Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: Imani Perry (Henry A. Morss, Jr. and Elisabeth W. Morss Professor of Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality and of African and African American Studies, and Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute); School of Nursing: Dr. Patricia Polgar-Bailey (Family Nurse Practitioner and Integrative Care Provider); McDonough School of Business [Graduate]: Mohammad Al Gergawi (Minister of Cabinet Affairs of the United Arab Emirates); College of Arts & Sciences: Most Rev. Evelio Menjivar-Ayala (Auxiliary Bishop of Washington); School of Health: Dr. Toyin Ajayi (Co-Founder and CEO, Cityblock Health); McDonough School of Business [Undergraduate]: Ann Misiaszek Sarnoff (B’83) (Former Chair and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment); Walsh School of Foreign Service: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Director-General of the World Trade Organization); School of Medicine: Dr. Sanjay Gupta (CNN Chief Medical Correspondent); Georgetown Law: Jerome H. Powell (L’79) (Chair, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

Gonzaga University: May 11 (Law, Graduate), May 12 (Undergraduate)
Undergraduate: Dr. Edward “Ed” Taylor (Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs at the University of Washington), Graduate: Angelique Albert (CEO of the Native Forward Scholars Fund), Law: Robert Gates (former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency)

John Carroll University: May 18 (Graduate), May 19 (Undergraduate)
Undergraduate: Capricia Penavic Marshall (Partner at FGS Global; former Chief of Protocol of the United States), Graduate: Dr. Donald A. Malone, Jr. (President of the Cleveland Clinic Ohio Hospitals and Family Health Centers)

Le Moyne College: May 17 (Graduate), May 19 (Undergraduate)
Undergraduate: Freida Jacques (Turtle Clan Mother Whatwehni:neh of the Onondaga Nation), Graduate: Evelyn C. Ingram (Director of community relations for the Central New York Region of Wegmans Food Markets)

Loyola Marymount University: May 4 (Undergraduate), May 5 (Graduate), May 19 (Loyola Law School)
Undergraduate: John Legend (award-winning, multi-platinum singer-songwriter), Graduate: Janelle Monáe (acclaimed artist, author and actor), Law: Hon. Wesley L. Hsu (U.S. District Court judge for the Central District of California)

Loyola University Chicago: May 7 (School of Education; School of Environmental Sustainability; Graduate School; Institute of Pastoral Studies), May 8 (Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing; Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health; School of Social Work; School of Communication; School of Continuing and Professional Studies), May 9 (Quinlan School of Business), May 10 (College of Arts and Sciences), May 11 (School of Law, Stritch School of Medicine), August 10 (Arrupe College)

Arrupe College: Jose R. Rodriguez (MBA ’10; Director, Community Capital Portfolio, Robert R. McCormick Foundation); College of Arts and Sciences [Morning]: Mary Jane Theis, J.D. (BA ’71; Chief Justice, Illinois Supreme Court); College of Arts and Sciences [Afternoon]: Rev. Toussaint Kafarhire Murhula, S.J. (MA ’10, Ph.D. ’16: Director, Arrupe Center for Research and Training; President, African Studies Association of Africa); College of Arts and Sciences [Evening]: Matthew Kolinski, D.O. (BS ’06; Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine; CEO, Staffing Management Group; Founder/CEO, USA Staffing Services); Quinlan School of Business: John Schreiber (BBA ’68; President of Centaur Capital Partners, Inc.; Chair, Board of Trustees, Loyola University Chicago); School of Education & School of Environmental Sustainability: Steve Bynum (Manager of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), Chicago Public Media); School of Communication & School of Continuing and Professional Studies: Melody Spann Cooper (BS ’88; Chair, Midway Broadcasting Company; Member, Board of Trustees, Loyola University Chicago); Graduate School & Institute of Pastoral Studies: Dr. Danny Bernard Martin (Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago); School of Law: Lauren M. Cherry (J.D. ’10; U.S. Navy Judge Advocate; White House Fellow; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center); Stritch School of Medicine: Kamran Hamid, M.D. (Associate Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, Stritch School of Medicine); Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing: Dr. Bridgette M. Rice, M.Div., APRN, FAAN (Associate Dean for Research and Innovation; Richard and Marianne Kreider Endowed Professor in Nursing for Vulnerable Populations, M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, Villanova University); Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health: Lawrence Benjamin (MPH ’16; Founder and Managing Director, Capwell Partners; Senior Advisor, New Mountain Capital; Chairman, Diversified Foodservice Supply Inc.)

Loyola University Maryland: May 18
Paul Monteiro (First Secretary of Service and Civic Innovation for Maryland)

Loyola University New Orleans: May 10 (College of Law), May 11 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Undergraduate, Graduate: Michelle Miller (award-winning journalist and co-host of CBS Saturday Morning), College of Law: Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle (Senior Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana)

Marquette University: May 11 (Undergraduate, Graduate School and Graduate School of Management)
Undergraduate: Dr. Shital Vora (CEO and co-founder of Global Brigades), Graduate School & Graduate School of Management: Peggy Troy (first female president and CEO of Children’s Wisconsin)

Regis University: May 4 (Graduate), May 5 (Undergraduate)
Undergraduate, Graduate: Dr. Jessica Hernandez (distinguished Indigenous scholar, scientist, and community advocate based in the Pacific Northwest)

Rockhurst University: May 11
Undergraduate: Lauren McKarnin (Candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing), Graduate: Justin Boxterman: Candidate for the degree of Master of Business Administration

Saint Joseph’s University: (May 16-20) May 16 (Graduate), May 17 (Erivan K. Haub School of Business [Undergraduate]), May 18 (School of Health Professions and Philadelphia College of Pharmacy [Undergraduate]; College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education and Human Development), May 20 (School of Nursing and Allied Health)

Remarks will be delivered by students at each ceremony.

Saint Louis University: May 18
Jon Hamm (Emmy-award winning actor)

Saint Peter’s University: May 17
Dr. Eugene J. Cornacchia (president of Saint Peter’s University)

Santa Clara University: May 18 (Jesuit School of Theology, School of Law), June 15 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Undergraduate, Graduate: Martin J. Jenkins ’77 (Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court), Jesuit School of Theology: María Pilar Aquino, S.T.D. (Catholic feminist theologian, Professor Emerita, Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego), Law: Vernā Myers (inclusion strategist, cultural innovator, thought leader, and social commentator, founder of The Vernā Myers Company)

Seattle University: June 9
Undergraduate: Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan (Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation), Graduate: Tod Leiweke (CEO, Seattle Kraken)

Spring Hill College: May 11
Tania Tetlow, J.D. (president of Fordham University)

St. John’s College (Belize): May 31
Main Speaker: Dr. Alice Peralta (president of St. John’s College)

The University of Scranton: May 19 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Undergraduate: Shabana Basij-Rasikh (co-founder and president of the School of Leadership, Afghanistan)

University of Detroit Mercy: May 10 (School of Dentistry, School of Law), May 11 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Undergraduate, Graduate: Marlena Peleo-Lazar ’72 (chief creative officer (Ret.), McDonald’s Corporation), School of Dentistry: William Chase, D.D.S. ’72 (community leader in dentistry), School of Law: Judge Victoria A. Roberts (U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan)

University of San Francisco: May 16 (School of Education), May 17 (School of Management [Undergraduate, Graduate, Professional Bachelor’s]; School of Law; School of Nursing and Health Professions), May 18 (College of Arts and Sciences [Undergraduate, Graduate])

School of Education: Sr. Christina Heltsley, O.P. (Prioress, Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa), School of Management [Undergraduate]: Dr. Mary C. Daly (President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco), School of Management [Professional Bachelor’s & Graduate Students]: José A. Quiñonez (Founder & CEO, Mission Asset Fund), School of Law: Lindbergh Porter (Senior Shareholder Emeritus, Littler Mendelson, P.C.), School of Nursing and Health Professions: Dr. Christine Grady, MSN (Chief of Bioethics, Head of Section on Human Subjects Research, National Institutes of Health), College of Arts and Sciences [Undergraduate Humanities & Science Students]: Dr. Elizabeth A. Hausler (Founder and CEO, Build Change), College of Arts and Sciences [Undergraduate Arts & Social Science Students]: Lloyd R. LaCuesta (Retired Broadcast Journalist), College of Arts and Sciences [Graduate]: Sr. Simone Campbell, S.S.S. (Religious leader, activist, organizer of “Nuns on the Bus” tour)

Xavier University: May 11 (Undergraduate, Graduate)
Undergraduate: John C. Lechleiter ’75 (Former president & CEO of Eli Lilly and Company), Graduate: Kurt Russell (Recipient of the 2022 National Teacher of the Year Award from the Council of Chief State)

Contact: Deanna Howes Spiro, Vice President of Communications, AJCU
(202) 862-9893,

Above: Photos courtesy of Creighton University, Fordham University, Loyola Marymount University, Saint Louis University, Saint Peter’s University, University of San Francisco