SJU Celebrates 157th Commencement Ceremonies

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Saint Joseph's 157th Commencement ceremonies were held Saturday, May 9, on Gest Lawn. Speaking to undergraduates receiving their degrees, Brian Duperreault '69, president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Co., Inc., urged the Class of 2008 to "live a life that reflects your faith." Invoking Jesus' words to his disciples, he said, "Be concerned for the better good of man, serve the needs of others and care for those the world's forgotten.  The instructions are simple—go, disciple, baptize, teach; they are embodied in everything you've been taught here at Saint Joseph's."

In her address to her classmates, Molly Sullivan, graduating with a degree in sociology, reflected on her Saint Joseph's experience. "My professors continually challenged the way I see the world…As graduates of Saint Joseph's University, we have an obligation; we all have been called to be our best selves."

The graduate commencement ceremony was celebrated with remarks from graduates Peter O'Neill, M.S., an online pharmaceutical marketing major; George May, M.S., an education major, and Rahkeem Austin, B.S., a Business Administration major from University College.

Nancy Fox, Ph.D., associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, presented an honorary doctor of commercial science degree to Charles Kahn Jr., president of Kahn & Co. Real Estate, who was honored for his efforts in forging Catholic – Jewish relations and reducing gang violence in Philadelphia. "He is one of God's good people," commended Fox.

Robert Palestini, Ph.D., professor of education, introduced the ceremony's keynote speaker, James Nevels. "One cannot talk about James without talking about service," he stated of the former chairman of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission and current president of The Swarthmore Group Inc., an investment advisory firm. "It's as much a part of his character as it is Saint Joseph's mission."

--Carolyn Steigleman and Harriet Goodheart

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