Xavier's 170th commencement set for Saturday, May 17, in the Cintas Center

CSO's Erich Kunzel and Howard Gray, S.J., are commencement speakers | May 1, 2008

Xavier University’s 170th commencement ceremonies are being held Saturday, May 17, at the Cintas Center. Separate ceremonies are taking place for students receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The undergraduate class of 2008 receive their diplomas beginning at 9:00 a.m. Graduate degrees are being 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 is awarding approximately 1,100 undergraduate diplomas and 1,050 graduate diplomas. This includes all students who have graduated during the last academic year.

A Baccalaureate Mass is being held prior to commencement on Friday, May 16, at 8:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains located at the corner of Eighth and Plum Streets in downtown Cincinnati.

Commencement Speakers and Honors

  • Erich Kunzel, principal conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, is  the undergraduate commencement speaker. He is being awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.
  • During the undergraduate ceremony, James Brockhoff, longtime men’s and women’s tennis coach at Xavier, is being awarded the Paul L. O’Connor Leadership Award.
  • Also during the undergraduate ceremony, Phil Gasiewicz, Class of 1968, is being honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his outstanding service to Xavier and society, and a life that reflects Jesuit values.
  • Jerome Gutzwiller Jr., Class of 1998, is being awarded Xavier’s first Magis Award. This recognizes a Xavier undergraduate alumnus or alumna who, within 15 years after graduation, has achieved a high degree of excellence and embodies Jesuit morals and ethical values in his or her life.
  • The top graduating senior is now being 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 Matthew D. Hartig.
  • Xavier’s graduate commencement speaker is Howard Gray, S.J., assistant to the president for special projects at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He is also being honored with the Leadership Medallion in recognition of his professional achievements, his generosity in giving back to the community he loves and his dedication to Catholic, Jesuit education.