The President’s Award, given annually to one outstanding graduating senior, was presented during commencement to Joanna Berry. A theology major, Berry earned a 3.9 grade point average and compiled an extraordinary record of service and leadership. After graduation she will be entering a religious order of sisters.
For the first time in recent memory, a husband and wife together delivered the main commencement address at The Catholic University of America. On May 17, Carl Anderson, CEO and chairman of
the board of the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization, and his wife, Dorian Anderson, called the graduates of CUA to a life of service to others and emphasized the importance of the family.
Mr. Anderson is supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, which has more than 1.7 million members and last year contributed more than $143 million to charity and 68 million hours of voluntary service. The couple, both members of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council on the Family, told the almost 1,200 graduates at the university’s 119th Annual Commencement exercises that “the challenges confronting us are great, but our response can be greater.”
“We hope that each of you realize that a career and a vocation are not the same thing,” Mr. Anderson told the graduates. “A vocation is a commitment of your whole self to something that will raise you beyond yourself. If you are true to your vocation you will always be true to yourself.”
At the ceremony, held on the east steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., university president, conferred an honorary Doctor of Theology degree on each of the Andersons.
The James Cardinal Gibbons Medal was presented to Kenneth Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services, which helps needy people in more than 100 countries. The highest honor bestowed by CUA’s Alumni Association, the Gibbons Medal recognizes an individual for distinguished and meritorious service to the Church, the nation or The Catholic University of America.
A week later, on May 23, commencement exercises for the more than 270 graduates of CUA’s Columbus School of Law took place in the National Shrine. Samuel A. Alito Jr., associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was the speaker at the law school’s exercises. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
To view videos of the May 17 and 23 commencements, visit http://digitalmedia.cua.edu/calendar. Transcripts of the Anderson and Alito addresses are available at http://publicaffairs.cua.edu/NewsAndInfo/speeches.cfm.
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