This week, Saint Joseph’s celebrated the Class of 2023 with three unique Commencement ceremonies to recognize the University’s undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Nearly 3,000 degrees were conferred for the Class of 2023.
On June 1, over 200 Saint Joseph’s alumni, employees and distinguished guests gathered on the University’s newly acquired University City campus for a press conference marking a historic merger with the University of the Sciences.
“Today, we begin a new chapter for Saint Joseph’s University,” President Mark C. Reed, EdD, proudly announced to attendees — a chapter that includes 26 new programs in health and science, a half-a-billion-dollar endowment and two alumni networks of nearly 100,000.
“The Saint Joseph’s that started as a tiny college 171 years ago is now the fourth largest University in Philadelphia and the ninth largest Jesuit university in the country,” he continued. “Though much has changed, our core has not. At the heart of a Saint Joseph’s education will always be the pursuit of lifelong learning, a commitment to critical thinking and a passion to employ education for the greater good.”
Joining Dr. Reed on stage for remarks were Vice President for Mission and Ministry Daniel R.J. Joyce, S.J. ’88, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Cheryl A. McConnell, PhD, Saint Joseph's Board of Trustees Chair Jim Norris ’85 and Board Member Michael C. Hemsley, Esq. ’72.
“Today marks the culmination of more than a year's worth of planning, conversations and collective imagining,” said McConnell. “Our faculty are working across departments, schools and colleges to create multi-disciplinary offerings,” she added, acknowledging the deans at the helm of the four colleges and schools. “Our students are empowered to build better businesses, educate future generations, and make life-altering scientific discoveries. With more programs, more research and more facilities than ever before, there’s never been a better time to learn, explore, research and work at Saint Joseph’s.”
Outgoing Class of 2022 student body presidents Taylor Stokes ’22 and Livia Mario USP’22 closed the event by ceremoniously banging on the Saint Joseph’s drum (a tradition marking the start of each Saint Joseph’s home basketball game), queuing the unveiling of a 30-foot Saint Joseph’s banner on the McNeil Science and Technology Center.
The press conference closed with Saint Joseph’s alma mater, sung by University Singers Abi Ladipo ’22 and Victoria Meyers ’22, and guests were invited to continue the morning with campus tours and refreshments.
As the sun set on the day’s celebrations, the city of Philadelphia was illuminated in crimson by skyscrapers and famous landmarks adorned in the University’s colors. From the iconic Boathouse Row along the Schuylkill River to the Wells Fargo Center and Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia, buildings lit up the night sky to mark the historic moment.
The University City high-rise the Cira Centre was embellished with the University’s lily logo, while the message, “More Programs, More Locations, More Than Ever. Saint Joseph’s University,” scrolled across the PECO Building’s crown lights.
Proud students and alumni took to social media to capture the big day, not only sharing pictures of the city lights, but also snapping selfies with the University’s ads in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
Photo provided by Nick Chingas '16, co-chair of the National Alumni Board’s New York City Chapter.
The National Alumni Board’s D.C. and Philadelphia alumni chapters also hosted happy hours in the two cities to welcome University of the Sciences’ alumni.
“As an alum, with a deep affinity for both of these universities, I offer my sincere congratulations and look forward to the exciting opportunities ahead,” shared alumnus and board member Michael C. Hemsley, Esq. ’72 at the press conference. “I know [the University of the Sciences’] mission will thrive within Saint Joseph’s as, together, we identify and pursue new programs and opportunities focused on the growth of individuals, preparing each for personal and professional success.”