Fairfield University has announced information for the 68th Graduate and Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies scheduled to be held on Sunday, May 20, 2018 on the lawn of Bellarmine Hall.
Brother Guy Joseph Consolmagno, S.J., the director and president of the Vatican Observatory will be the commencement speaker for the undergraduate class of 2018. His 25-year long research at the observatory involving meteorites, asteroids and the evolution of small solar system bodies has taken him all over the world. In addition to an asteroid being named after him, he has written several books including “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?” which is co-authored with Paul Mueller S.J. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree during the ceremony.
The commencement speaker for the graduate ceremony is John R. Mitchell, chairman of Mitchell Stores. While maintaining a successful business, he became a speaker and author. His first book “Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results” received recognition from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. In keeping with the title of his book, he hosts hugging workshops for corporations. As a speaker, Mitchell is known for his high energy and passion, and has spoke at over 200 events for corporations. He will also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Special guests will also receive honorary degrees. William P. Egan ‘67 will receive a Doctor of Laws degree. Egan is founder and general partner of Alta Communications and Marion Equity Partners. Involved in both business and athletics, Egan is a part owner of the Boston Celtics and the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Triple A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. He received a degree in Economics from Fairfield University and an MBA from The Wharton School. Egan has also been very active in donating to Fairfield and is a former trustee. The Marion Peckham School of Nursing and Health Studies was named in honor of his mother and the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola was named after his family.
Rev. James Bowler, S.J. is the former director for Fairfield University’s Center of Ignatian Spirituality and Facilitator for Catholic and Jesuit Mission and the current pastoral minister at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Charlotte, N.C. He has worked in areas regarding the Jesuit mission for over 20 years including his position as the director of Campion Renewal Center, executive director of the National Jesuit Retreat and Renewal Ministries and as a staff member at the Guelph Center of spirituality in Ontario. He will will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
- Shawn Copeland, Ph.D., who is viewed as one of the most noteworthy influences in North America in calling attention to issues surround African American Catholics will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. She is currently a professor of systematic theology in the department of theology with a joint appointment in the program in African and African Diaspora
Studies at Boston College. She is the first African American woman to serve as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. She is renowned for lecturing in the United States where she aims to introduce listeners to African American historical, cultural, and intellectual experience and to emphasize the importance of social justice.
The Honorable Mark R. Dybul, M.D. has worked as a clinician, scientist, teacher and administrator over the past 25 years. Dr. Dybul led the implementation of the “President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.” He continued his work to combat AIDS when he served as executive director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Currently, he is co-director of the new Center for Global Health and Quality at Georgetown University. He will be receiving an honorary Doctor of Science degree.