Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily


Other Notable Commencement Keynote Speakers

A number of Catholic colleges deserve special recognition for their excellent choices in honorees and keynote speakers this spring. While we’ve already noted the choices made by those colleges endorsed in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, there are several other schools which also deserve recognition.

Two Catholic colleges have asked Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York to address their graduation seniors.

Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY has asked Cardinal Dolan to deliver the College's keynote address at the College's 170th Commencement on Sunday, May 20. Cardinal Dolan will also address the Class of 2012 at the 123rd Annual Commencement Ceremony of The Catholic University of America on May 12.

Given his leadership this year in the Church's fight to protect the religious liberty of Catholic colleges and other apostolates, Cardinal Dolan seems an excellent choice. Manhattan College is currently struggling with the National Labor Relations Board, which refuses to respect its rights as a religious employer. CUA president John Garvey has been at the forefront of the religious liberty fight alongside Cardinal Dolan.

 “We are honored and delighted that Cardinal Dolan will be with us to celebrate this great day in the life of the College,” Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., president of Manhattan College stated in a release. “He has a deep affection for and appreciation of the work of Catholic education at all levels and has been a wise counselor and pastor to the colleges and universities in his diocese. His becoming an honorary alumnus of Manhattan College represents the continuance of a great history of faithful, collaborative work between the College and the Church in New York City.”

A number of Catholic colleges in addition to the Newman Guide colleges have chosen to honor bishops and cardinals during their commencement ceremonies: St. Norbert College in Wisconsin recently announced that Cardinal Francis George would serve as the commencement speaker on May 13, Benedictine University in Illinois has invited Bishop Daniel Conlon of Joliet, to be the undergraduate commencement speaker on May 13,  Gannon University in Pennsylvania will be honoring Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, with the Ut Diligatis Invicem award, and he will be the commencement speaker on May 5.

The University of Notre Dame made an excellent choice to honor Kevin "Seamus" Hasson, the founder and president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and a great friend of The Cardinal Newman Society, at the commencement ceremony on May 20. The Becket Fund is currently representing Belmont Abbey College and Ave Maria University in their lawsuits against the HHS contraceptive mandate.

Sacred Heart University in Connecticut will award an honorary degree to Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, on May 13. Anderson has been a strong advocate for religious liberty.

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