Franciscan University of Steubenville will celebrate its 65th commencement exercises, May 10-11, 2013.
Handing out diplomas for the last time will be Father Terence Henry, TOR, who will preside over his 13th commencement exercises as president of Franciscan University of Steubenville before moving on to a new assignment this summer.
“I see this as an occasion to be grateful to God for his blessings on this university and these students,” said Father Henry. “As always our focus is on each student’s development in body, mind, and spirit. It’s as true for the pioneering graduates of the Class of 1950 as it is for the 65thgraduating class, whom I am certain will go forth as the living presence of Christ in their homes, their jobs, their vocations; wherever the Holy Spirit leads them.”
Not counting the nearly 700 graduates from the Class of 2013, a total of 7,282 students have graduated from Franciscan University since Father Henry became the University’s fifth president in the fall of 2000.
Events begin Friday, May 10, at 6:00 p.m. with the Baccalaureate Mass in Finnegan Fieldhouse. The celebrant and homilist will be the Most Reverend José H. Gomez, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, numerically the largest Catholic archdiocese in the United States, and home to one of the largest Hispanic Catholic populations in the nation.
Archbishop Gomez will receive an honorary doctorate of Christian letters for his fidelity to the Catholic Church, for being the voice of Hispanic Catholics in the United States, and for bringing the Gospel of Christ to people everywhere.
Prior to his appointment as archbishop of Los Angeles in March 2011, he served as archbishop of San Antonio, and previously as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Denver.
The largest ceremony of the day will take place at 12:00 p.m. in Finnegan Fieldhouse, where students will receive bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, or associate's degrees from more than 40 programs.
Addressing the Class of 2013 will be R. James Nicholson, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, who was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See and presented his credentials to Pope John Paul II on September 13, 2001. Nicholson built a reputation as a forceful advocate for human rights with particular emphasis on religious freedom, ending human trafficking, food technology in Africa, and thwarting international terrorism.
A graduate of West Point with 30 years of service in the U.S. Army, Nicholson was appointed in 2005 as secretary of Veterans Affairs where he worked to better meet the needs of veterans who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.
During the undergraduate commencement, Father Henry will be recognized for his service to Franciscan University. Father Malachi Van Tassell, TOR, ’93, will preside over ceremonies as the provincial delegate for the Third Order Regular Franciscans, along with members of the Board of Trustees and Board of Advisors.
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