The 175th commencement ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students on Saturday, May 11, features speakers Pro Football Hall of Fame member Anthony Munoz and Yousuf Ahmad, a senior vice president with Mercy Health and adjunct health services professor.
The undergraduate ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m. and the graduate ceremony is at 3:00 p.m. Both ceremonies take place at the Cintas Center.
Muñoz is to deliver a speech to the undergraduates and is being awarded the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa. Muñoz, known as one of the greatest offensive linemen ever in the National Football League (NFL), led the Cincinnati Bengals to two Super Bowls, three American Football Conference Central Division titles and two AFC championships. He was named NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year and the NFL Players Association Lineman of the Year multiple times throughout the 1980s, and he played in 11 consecutive Pro Bowl games between 1981 and 1991. He was the recipient of the Athletes in Action Bart Starr Award for community leadership in 1990 and named NFL Man of the Year in 1991. He is the only Hall of Fame inductee in Cincinnati Bengals history.
Off the field, Munoz’ commitment to community service is well known. Muñoz and his family remain in Cincinnati, where he is one of the community’s most accessible and involved advocates. He established the Anthony Muñoz Foundation in 2002, a non-profit that helps Tristate area youth develop mentally, physically and spiritually. In addition, he is involved in numerous community initiatives. He regularly speaks to high school students discouraging the use of drugs and alcohol. He was chairman of the Billy Graham Mission in 2002 and has co-chaired 12 Anthony Muñoz Cystic Fibrosis golf tournaments. He has spoken to U.S. military units nationwide and traveled to Afghanistan to support the troops. He has assisted with football camps in Guadalajara and served as a translator and medical assistant in Mexico with Christian Hands in Action.
Xavier’s graduate commencement speaker, Yousuf Ahmad, DrPH, FACHE, is divisional senior vice president and chief network transformation officer with Mercy Health since 2004. He is responsible for transforming the delivery and implementation of primary and specialty care and preparing for healthcare reform. Previously, Ahmad was divisional senior vice president and president of Mercy Health Physicians and senior vice president and chief information officer. An active member of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, he is a past Chair and present board member of HealthBridge, Inc.
An adjunct professor in Xavier’s health services administration graduate program, Ahmad holds a doctorate in public health from the University of Kentucky, and a Master of Health Administration and Master of Business Administration from Xavier (1999). His bachelor’s degree in computer information systems is from Eastern Kentucky University. He received the 2013 Tomorrow’s Leader Award from the Catholic Health Association, honoring young leaders who will guide the Catholic health ministry in the future. Under his leadership, Mercy Health’s physician practices have achieved the most stringent accreditation as patient-centered medical homes, and Mercy Health Select secured its status as the region’s only Accountable Care Organization.