2009 Commencement May 16

| May 11, 2009

 

Xavier University’s 171st commencement ceremonies will be held Saturday, May 16 at the University’s Cintas Center.
 
Separate ceremonies will be held for students receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The undergraduate class of 2009 will receive their diplomas beginning at 9:00 a.m. Graduate degrees will be awarded at 2:00 p.m. Two ceremonies are being held to accommodate the large number of graduates and their families. No tickets are required for the ceremonies and graduation is open to the public.
 
Xavier will award 833 undergraduate diplomas and 953 graduate diplomas. This includes all students who have graduated during the last academic year. The most popular undergraduate major this year is business administration, followed by liberal arts and nursing.
 
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 15 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
James Morris will be the undergraduate commencement speaker and will also be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. He currently serves both as president of Pacers Sports and Entertainment in Indianapolis, is a former executive director for the United Nations World Food Programme, and holds an Undersecretary General rank within the U.N. Morris received his bachelor of arts from Indiana University and MBA from Butler University. He begand his career at American Fletcher National Bank in Indianapolis, then was administrative assistant and chief of staff to former Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar. Morris joined Lily Endowment Inc., in 1973 and served in a variety of roles until1989. He then was chairman and CEO of the IWC Resources Corp. and Indianapolis Water Co. through 2002. He moved to Pacers Sports in 2007. As executive director for the World Food Programme, he traveled to most of the 80 countries where WFP is operational, met staff and beneficiaries as well as government and NGO partners, and met presidents and prime ministers in both the developing and developed world to discuss ways of reducing hunger. Morris has also given his time to the boards and committees of a long list of regional and national organizations. He and his wife, Jacqueline, have been married for 43 years. In recognition of his achievements in combining a successful business career with a commitment to service and dedication to helping others, Xavier University is honored to present James Morris with a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
 
During the undergraduate ceremony, Stan Hedeen, professor emeritus of biology, will be awarded the Paul L. O’Connor Leadership Award. During his long tenure at the University, Hedeen manifested Ignatian spirituality through his dedication to his students and the University’s Catholic, Jesuit mission; his unreserved commitment to the University’s ideals; and his willingness to take on a variety of leadership roles both on campus and in the greater community. A native of Seattle, he received his Bachelor of Arts in biology from Augustana College and his doctorate in zoology from the University of Minnesota. His postgraduate studies include work at the United States’ EPA National Training Center, Argonne National Laboratories, Miami University and Harvard University. Hedeen came to Xavier as an instructor in 1967 and moved through the ranks, serving as chair for the Department of Biology and dean for the College of Arts and Sciences. He was recognized with the Bishop Fenwick Award as Xavier’s teacher of the year in 1985 and was the first recipient of the Joan G. McDonald Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Sciences in 1997. Hedeen became professor emeritus in 2006. A prolific author, he has published numerous scholarly articles over the course of his career, and is the author of several books. He was also a leading light in drawing attention to the pollution and ecological degradation in and around Cincinnati’s Mill Creek. His environmental work began drawing attention in 1976, when he received the Environmental Quality Award from the E.P.A. More recently, he was awarded the DAR National Conservation Medal in 2001. In 2007, he received a President’s Award for Outstanding Service for his academic contributions to Xavier. Hedeen and his wife, Katherine, have two children and grandchildren. In recognition of his humanism, pragmatism, devotion and years of extraordinary service, Xavier University proudly presents Stanley E. Hedeen with the Paul L. O’Connor Leadership Award.
 
Also during the undergraduate ceremony, Bob Conway, ’49, will be honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his passionate committment to Xavier University’s mission and ministry. Over the course of his long relationship with the University, Conway has given generously of his time, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees and chair of the Jesuit Identity Committee. He has also been generous with his resources, most recently in funding the new Institute for Jesuit Education, which is a key component of the Learning Commons and the James E. Hoff, S.J., Academic Quad.

Conway’s ties to Xavier run deep. A 1949 Xavier graduate, he served as captain of the Musketeer football team and president of the student council during his tenure on campus. He then attended the Athenaeum of Ohio, where he received a master’s degree in 1954. Conway then moved on to a successful career that began at the family business, Conway Clutch Co. In 1989 he launched and became chairman of Cincinnati-based Bistro Management, a position he still holds. Being a man for others has always been high among Conway’s values. Over the years, he has served on boards of many organizations. Conway’s wife, Ruth, joins her husband in his enthusiasm for Xavier. Together, they have supported the University in many ways, ranging from Club Football to the landmark exhibit “A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul and the Jewish People.” They are members of The 1831 Society and the All For One Club, and participate in the Cintas Center Club Seat Program. Conway is also a past member of the President’s Advisory Council and the Alumni Board of Governors. The Conways have been married 51 years. Devoted to family, they have eight children: Robert, Joseph, Kathleen, Timothy, Mary Ruth, Sheila, Sean and Mary Lois, and enjoy spending time with their 18 grandchildren. In recognition of his commitment to Jesuit values, his personal achievements and his outstanding service to both this institution and the greater society, Xavier University is honored to present Robert A. Conway with its Distinguished Alumnus Award.
 
Angela U. Staubach, ’01, 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. Staubach believes in taking initiative and using creativity to bring about positive change. She earned a Bachelor of Science in social work from Xavier in 2001and was honored with the Paul L. O’Connor Scholarship, awarded based on academic and extracurricular achievement and contributions to the University, and the Charlotte Towle Social Work Award for outstanding seniors in social work. While at Xavier, she worked at Santa Maria Community Services to support pregnant women and mothers at risk. Staubach earned a master’s degree in international community-based practice with women and minority populations from Washington University in 2002, and headed to Dangriga, Belize, Geneva, Switzerland and Kingston, Jamaica. She left Jamaica in 2005, and returned to Cincinnati where she currently is a services coordinator for the International Family Resource Center and a social worker with The Health Alliance/University Hospital.Staubach returned toXavier as an adjunct faculty in theDepartment of Social Work during the 2006-2007 school year. 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 Angela L. Staubach with the 2009 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 Shaye Worthman. Worthman, 22, from Ossian, IN, is graduating with a major in psychology and a minor in gender and diversity studies. This is the award formerly known as the valedictorian.
 
Xavier’s graduate commencement speaker will be Abie Ingber, founding director of the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement at Xavier. Following a 30-year career as the Executive Director and Senior Rabbi at the University of Cincinnati’s Hillel Chapter, Ingber became the Founding director of the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement at Xavier, a bold program to strengthen students in their spiritual journeys and to bring them into new models of dialogue and community engagement. Ingber was a founding board member of Xavier’s Brueggeman Center for Dialogue; has been Vice President of the Interreligious Information Center in New York since 1999; was a co-creator and co-executive director of the national touring exhibit which opened in 2005, A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People; and was a co-convener of the First Catholic-Jewish Lay Conference at the Vatican in 2007.