Former Fairfield University President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. has been officially confirmed as the speaker for the undergraduate commencement ceremony.
Fr. von Arx served as the president of Fairfield for 12 years before stepping down in Dec. 2016 after being appointed as the Superior of the LaFarge House Jesuit Community in Cambridge, Mass., according to an article from The Mirror. Despite this, the Class of 2017 will have one last chance to hear from Fr. von Arx before the end of their time at Fairfield.
In addition, Juanita James, the President and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, has been announced as the speaker for the graduate degree recipients and will also be receiving an honorary degree at the ceremony.
At the undergraduate ceremony, there will be three honorary degree recipients: Steven Braga ‘78, Rev. Sean Carroll, SJ and Dianne Dwyer Modestini.
Braga has been ranked as one of the “Top Ten Criminal Defense Attorneys in the United States” by US Lawyer Rankings after achieving exoneration for Marty Tankleff, who spent almost 20 years in prison, despite his innocence.
Fr. Carroll is the founding Executive Director of an organization called the Kino Border Initiative. The initiative was started in 2009 to serve migrants who travel between Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora (Mexico).
Modestini is an internationally renowned conservator of old master and 19th century paintings.
At the graduate ceremony, there will be two honorary degree recipients: Sr. Patricia Eck, C.B.S. and James.
Sr. Eck is the Congregation Leader of the Sisters of Bon Secours in 2009. She is thus responsible for ministries all around the world. She has previously served as chair of the Bon Secours Health System and has received the ‘Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice’ (the Cross for the Church and Pontiff).