Xavier University’s 172nd commencement ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 15 at the University’s Cintas Center.
Separate ceremonies will be held for students receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The undergraduate class of 2010 will receive their diplomas beginning at 9:00 a.m. Graduate degrees will be awarded at 2:00 p.m. Two ceremonies are held to accommodate the graduates and their families. No tickets are required for the ceremonies and commencement is open to the public.
Xavier will confer 991 undergraduate diplomas and 1082 graduate diplomas.
Media are welcome to cover both commencement ceremonies. Please enter the Cintas Center through the north loading dock.
A Baccalaureate Mass will be held prior to commencement on Friday, May 14 at 8:00 p.m. at The Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains located on the corner of 8th and Plum Streets in downtown Cincinnati.
Commencement Speakers and Honors
Barbara Howard will be the undergraduate commencement speaker and will also receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Howard, a graduate of Xavier University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science magna cum laude, is the principal of the law firm of Barbara J. Howard Co., L.P.A., focusing in family law. She has spent her career in the area of family law, her sole focus for at least the last 25 years. Her practice covers domestic relations, paternity and related juvenile law. Howard is also the President of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA). Trained in Collaborative Law, she is a member of the Cincinnati Academy of Collaborative Professionals (CACP). A past president of the Cincinnati Bar Association, she presently serves on the Board of the Cincinnati Bar Foundation as well as the Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor. She is very active in the American Bar Association where she has served in the House of Delegates since 1986. She has held a variety of positions in the American Bar Association, currently as a member of the Board of Editors of the ABA Journal. Howard has been one of nine attorneys and judges working through the OSBA Family Law Committee to re-write Ohio’s spousal support statute, an effort that has spanned over six years. Howard is also active in non-legal aspects of the Cincinnati community. She has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Xavier University since 1995. She also serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Athenaeum, Cincinnati Union Bethel and the Corporate Guild of Dress for Success Cincinnati. Howard received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College Of Law.
In recognition of her commitment to Jesuit values, her personal achievements and her outstanding service to both this institution and the greater society, Xavier University is honored to present Barbara Howard with its Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Jill Yungbluth-Smith, class of 1999 with a BA in psychology, will receive Xavier’s Magis Award. This recognizes a Xavier undergraduate alumnus or alumna who, within fifteen years after graduation, has achieved a high degree of excellence and embodies Jesuit morals and ethical values in his or her life. After graduation, she worked with the Center for Peace Education first as program and training manager and then as executive director. She was also online community manager for the KnowledgeWorks Foundation and is now resource coordinator for the Community Learning Center in the Academy of World Languages school.
In recognition of selfless dedication to the Jesuit ideal of being a woman for others, her commitment to helping those who are most in need and her efforts to affect positive change both locally and internationally, Xavier University is honored to present Jill Youngblood-Smith with the 2010 Magis Award.
The top graduating senior is honored as the John A. Elet, S.J. Scholar. Named after the first president of Xavier University, this recognizes a student for academic and service excellence. This year the honor goes to Amber Beery. Amber, 22, from Medina, OH, is graduating with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. This June, she is going to Rome as the assistant for the Xavier Summer Honors Rome Study Abroad. In the fall, she will be attending the Ohio State University College of Medicine. The Elet is the award formerly known as the valedictorian.
Xavier’s graduate commencement speaker will be Susan Tew, a teacher and active Cincinnati volunteer engaged in the process of personal transformation. After teaching for a year following graduation at a Colorado school as part of a volunteer teaching program established by the Extension Society in the Catholic Church, she returned to Ursuline Academy, her alma mater, to teach history and social studies. She worked in paper products brand management at Procter and Gamble and then came back to teaching at high school in Philadelphia and junior high in Massachusetts until the birth of her first child. She has served on the Boards of The Cincinnati Nature Center, Purcell Marian High School, Family Service, Cincinnati Library, Fountain Square Fools, and the Catholic Inner-City Schools Education Fund. She continues to serve CISE and the Adult Spirituality Institute at the Athenaeum which she co-founded in 2001 to provide short, non-credit courses in scripture and theology to enrich the spiritual lives of laypeople. She was a founding board member of the Shepherd Center in Hyde Park, an ecumenical center for adult spirituality. Although the Center no longer exists, its mission endures. She was a co-founder of The Good Samaritans, an organization to raise funds to support the education and research efforts at Good Samaritan Hospital, where her husband John is a neurosurgeon. They have worked with the Sunflower Revolution, a bicycle ride and education program to support patients with Parkinson’s disease, and the UC Neuroscience Institute. As part of the Order of Malta’s initiative, she participated in the development and implementation of Pope John Paul II’s teaching, “Theology of the Body” in 12 parishes in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky during 2003-04. Currently, Susan Tew is a member of Bellarmine Chapel, serving on the bereavement committee, as a Eucharistic minister, and as a member of Small Faith community and a weekly Centering Prayer Group.
In recognition of her tireless service to others and her dedication to the causes that matter most to her, Xavier University is honored to present Susan Smyth Tew with its Leadership Medallion.