The Catholic University of America

March 20, 2009

New York City Police Commissioner to Speak at CUA Commencement

Raymond W. Kelly, police commissioner of New York City, will serve as the main commencement speaker at CUA's 120th annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16, 2009.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Raymond W. Kelly, police commissioner of New York City, will address graduates at The Catholic University of America's 120th Annual Commencement Ceremony, to be held Saturday, May 16, 2009, at 10 a.m.

Kelly, who served as New York City police commissioner from 1992 to 1994, was again appointed commissioner by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2002, making him the first person to hold the post for a second, non-consecutive term of office. Kelly has spent 31 years in the New York City Police Department, serving in 25 different commands.

"I look forward to welcoming Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly as our main commencement speaker," said Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America. "To say that he has had a distinguished record as a public servant is a great understatement. Strengthened by a deep, personal commitment to his Catholic faith, the Commissioner has a great life story to share with our graduating students. Commissioner Kelly's message, without a doubt, will engage his audience, as I have witnessed time and again," noted Father O'Connell.

Before returning for his second term as police commissioner, Kelly was senior managing director of Global Corporate Security, at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., from 2000 to 2001. He served as commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service from 1998 to 2000, where he managed the agency's 20,000 employees and $20 billion in annual revenue. For his accomplishments at the Customs Service, Kelly was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Medal for Exceptional Service.

From 1996 to 1998, Kelly was undersecretary for enforcement at the U.S. Treasury Department. There he supervised the department's enforcement bureaus, including the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

In addition, Kelly served on the executive committee and as vice president for the Americas of Interpol, the international police organization, from 1996 to 2000. During that time he served as director of the International Police Monitors in Haiti, a U.S.-led force responsible for ending human rights abuses and establishing an interim police force there. For this service, Kelly was awarded the Exceptionally Meritorious Service Commendation by President Bill Clinton and the Commander's Medal for Public Service by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili.

A combat veteran of the Vietnam War, Kelly retired after 30 years of service as a colonel from the Marine Corps Reserves. He holds a B.B.A. from Manhattan College, a J.D. from St. John's University School of Law, an L.L.M. from New York University Graduate School of Law and an M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Kelly will be awarded an honorary degree at CUA's commencement in May.

The main commencement ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on the east steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The basilica is located adjacent to CUA's campus at 400 Michigan Ave., N.E. For more information, click here.

Catholic University's Columbus School of Law will hold its annual commencement six days later on Friday, May 22, 2009, at 2 p.m. in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. This year's law school commencement speaker will be political columnist Mark Shields.

MEDIA: For more information or to make arrangements to cover the university's main commencement exercises, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600. To cover the law school commencement, contact Tom Haederle in the law school's Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5438.