The Catholic University of America

May 16, 2013

CUA to Confer 1,800 Diplomas at Commencement Ceremonies

Acclaimed Poet Dana Gioia to Deliver Main Address


The Catholic University of America will confer approximately 1,500 degrees during its 124th Annual Commencement Ceremony to be held outdoors at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18, on the east steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, located at 400 Michigan Ave., N.E.

In addition, approximately 250 degrees will be distributed to students graduating from CUA’s Columbus School of Law at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 24, in the Basilica.

Dana Gioia, acclaimed poet and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will address the Class of 2013 on May 18. CUA will award an honorary degree to Gioia at Commencement.

Two other individuals will also receive honorary degrees. They are Jean Bethke Elshtain, Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, and Rev. John P. Foley, S.J., chair emeritus and chief mission officer of the Cristo Rey Network.

The University will also confer the Shahan Medal for Service to two CUA employees who are retiring. Elaine Walter, professor of music, has been on the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music faculty since 1963 and served as its longtime dean. Alyce Ann Bergkamp, assistant dean for the School of Arts and Sciences, has worked for the University since 1973.

Walter and Bergkamp will receive their awards at the music and arts and sciences diploma ceremonies, respectively, which occur after the main commencement ceremony.

This year’s law school commencement speaker will be William T. Robinson III, a distinguished legal practitioner and national leader in the legal community.

Outstanding students will be lauded during the honors convocation at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 17, at the Basilica.

Students and their families will also attend the 4 p.m. Baccalaureate Mass in the Basilica, Great Upper Church, on May 17. At the end of this Mass, the community will recognize 12 students who will be devoting at least one year to volunteering for a service organization, 10 students who will enter the religious life, and seven students who will enter the military.

For other commencement details, visit For information about other commencement venues in the event that inclement weather precludes an outdoor ceremony, visit

Audio and video of the main ceremony will be streamed live starting at 9:30 a.m. at

MEDIA: For more information or to make arrangements to cover the University’s main commencement exercises, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy Hines in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600 or

To cover the law school’s ceremony, contact Tom Haederle at 202-319-5438 or


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