U.S. House Speaker and Xavier graduate John Boehner was among the fans at the Cintas Center Saturday, January 22 as the Xavier men’s basketball team took on A10 rival Temple.
Boehner was greeted upon his arrival by Xavier graduate Erin McDermott, who was once an intern in Mr. Boehner’s office, and current Xavier student and Politics, Philosophy and the Public major Nick Reinel.
During the first half, the Speaker was honored by Xavier President Michael J. Graham, S.J. and presented with a personalized Xavier athletic jacket.
Boehner also spoke with Xavier basketball radio announcers Joe Sunderman and Byron Larkin as well as Xavier guard Brad Redford for Redford’s behind-the-scenes blog at http://redfordsrundown.com/
Boehner graduated from Xavier in 1977 with a degree in business administration. He was encouraged to attend Xavier in 1971 by the late Bill Smith, an accounting professor.
During his first semester, he took three classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and worked part-time jobs. After passing those first classes with an ‘A’ and two ‘B’s, Boehner spent the next year as a full-time commuter student, but had trouble making ends meet. For the next five years he worked full time and attended night school at Xavier to complete his degree.
Saturday was Boehner’s first return to campus as Speaker, but this was not his first trip to Xavier since joining the ranks of Congressional leadership. In 2006 he spoke at Xavier’s undergraduate commencement ceremony. During that event, Xavier awarded Boehner a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Bill Smith was his honored guest at the ceremony.