STEUBENVILLE - Franciscan University of Steubenville will celebrate its 65th commencement exercises on May 10-11.
Handing out diplomas for the last time will be the Rev. 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. 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 65th graduating 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," said Henry.
R. James Nicholson
Not counting the nearly 700 graduates from the Class of 2013, a total of 7,282 students have graduated from Franciscan University since Henry became the University's fifth president in the fall of 2000.
Events begin at 6 p.m. on May 10 with the baccalaureate Mass in Finnegan Fieldhouse.
The celebrant and homilist will be Archbishop Joseph H. Gomez 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.
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.
Gomez has distinguished himself as a respected leader of Hispanic priests and the laity. In 2008, he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a consultant to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and in 2010, was named a member of the Special Council for America of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.
Commencement ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. on May 11with the conferral of master's degrees in Finnegan Fieldhouse.
Colleen Carroll Campbell will address graduates of masters programs in business, counseling, education, educational administration, nursing, philosophy and theology.
She will receive an honorary doctorate in communications for using her skills to articulate the faith in a way that reaches young adults and Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, according to officials.
Campbell is an author, columnist, television and radio host and former White House speechwriter. Her first book was " The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy."
In 2002, Campbell served as the only woman speechwriter to President George W. Bush, working directly with the president on major policy addresses on topics such as education, faith-based initiatives, the life issues and judicial appointments. This summer Campbell will assume her newest role as anchor of EWTN's first nightly television newscast to be broadcast live from Capitol Hill across the English-speaking world.
The largest ceremony of the day will take place at noon in Finnegan Fieldhouse, where students will receive bachelor of arts, bachelor of science or associate degrees from more than 40 programs.
Addressing the graduating 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 Sept. 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 meet the needs of veterans who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to officials.
During the undergraduate commencement, Henry will be recognized for his service to Franciscan University of Steubenville. The Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, TOR, Class of 1993, will preside over both ceremonies as the provincial delegate for the Third Order Regular Franciscans, along with members of the board of trustees and board of advisers.