Xavier congratulates 1977 alumnus John Boehner on his swearing in as Speaker of the House

Groups of family, friends and political colleagues attend the ceremony | January 5, 2011

Xavier University congratulates Congressman and Xavier graduate John Boehner on his new role as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. 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.

Boehner took what money he had at the time and enrolled. 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 couldn’t earn enough money to continue going full time. So he spent the next five years working full time and attending night school at Xavier.

In 2006, Xavier University awarded Boehner a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Boehner gave a speech at the undergraduate commencement ceremony, where Bill Smith was his honored guest. Read more about Boehner in a 2003 Xavier Magazine article and an account of the swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C.