Fairfield University has announced the official information for the Graduate and Undergraduate ceremonies to be held on May 17, 2015.
The 2015 commencement ceremonies will take place on Bellarmine Lawn, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with the undergraduate ceremony, followed by the graduate ceremony at 3 p.m.
916 Bachelor’s degrees, 374 Master’s degrees, 18 Certificates of Advanced Study and 21 Doctorate degrees are expected to be awarded to the graduates. Honorary degrees will be rewarded to both commencement speakers, as well as John C. Meditz ‘70, Sharon Robinson and Clea Newman Soderlund.
Two distinguished and dedicated members of the Society of Jesus will speak at the 65th commencement ceremonies, Rev. James Martin, S.J. and Rev. Greg Boyle, S.J.
Fr. Martin is a New York Times best-selling author, editor, national and international media contributor, who will speak at the undergraduate ceremony. He entered the Jesuits in 1988, after working in corporate finance for six years.
Fr. Martin served at a hospice in Kingston, Jamaica, at a Jesuit refugee service in Nairobi, Kenya, at a school for underprivileged boys in New York City and at various outreach programs around Chicago.
He is the award winning author of five books, including “A Jesuit Off-Broadway: Center Stage with Jesus,” “Judas,” and “Life’s Big Questions,” which was named one of Publishers Weekly’s “Best Books.” His writing has been featured in many famous publications, such as The New York Times and O Magazine.
Fr. Martin has been a guest on several major television and radio networks, including NPR and Comedy Central. In addition, he has spoken at various colleges and universities across the country and leads seminars and directs retreats.
Fr. Boyle is the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, a nationally recognized agency that provides job training, education and mental health services to former gang members in Los Angeles, California. He will be delivering the commencement address at the graduate ceremony.
He entered the Jesuits in 1972 after graduating high school and was ordained a priest in 1984. He has served as a Chaplain of Folsom Prison, and wrote “Tattoos on the Heart: the Power of Boundless Compassion.”
Fr. Boyle is the recipient of several humanitarian awards, including the California Peace Prize.
Honorary degree recipient John C. Meditz, the Managing Director, Co-Founder and Senior Portfolio Manager of HorizonKinetics LLC, has been a generous supporter of Fairfield and of the Jesuit community.
Clea Newman Soderlund, another honorary degree recipient, is the founder and senior director of external affairs at the SeriousFun Children’s Network, and the daughter of late actor Paul Newman. Soderlund is also on the board of the non-profit organization Newman’s Own.
Sharon Robinson, daughter of Hall-of-Fame baseball player Jackie Robinson, will be receiving the final honorary degree recipient. Robinson manages “Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life,” a baseball themed national character education curriculum that helps empower students to face obstacles in their lives. She has taught at Yale, Columbia, Georgetown and Howard Universities.