The 175th commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 11, at the University’s Cintas Center conferred 1,102 undergraduate degrees and 853 graduate degrees in two separate events.
Pro Football Hall of Fame member Anthony Munoz delivered a message of perseverance in his keynote address to the undergraduates in the morning ceremony. Muñoz was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, in recognition of his commitment to community service, including the Anthony Muñoz Foundation he founded in 2002 that helps Tristate area youth develop mentally, physically and spiritually.
Yousuf Ahmad, a senior vice president with Mercy Health and adjunct professor in Xavier’s health services administration graduate program, delivered the keynote address at the graduate ceremony at 3:00 p.m.
During the undergraduate ceremony, 16 Xavier alumni were recognized as Golden Grads, celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation in 1963. This includes the first four women celebrating their 50th anniversary.
The graduation ceremonies were streamed live so that family members and others who could not attend were able to watch online at www.xavier.edu/xugrad13. The site included submissions posted from the Twitter hashtag #xugrad13 to share photos, videos and messages below the live stream of the event.
Several other awards were given this year. Kate Loftus Riley received Xavier’s Magis Award at the morning ceremony. The award recognizes a Xavier graduate who embodies Jesuit morals and ethics and has achieved a high degree of excellence. Riley started Holy Trinity Montessori, the only Christian Montessori school in Nashville, for families who otherwise could not afford Montessori education for their children.
Joseph Viviano received Xavier’s Distinguished Alumnus Award at the undergraduate ceremony. Viviano was a member of the basketball team that clinched the 1958 National Invitation Tournament, the University’s most recognized athletic achievement at the time. He graduated as Xavier’s all-time leading scorer and went on to work for Hershey Foods, where he eventually served as president and CEO. He also served on Xavier’s Board of Trustees from 1989 to 2004, helping to raise $125 million toward construction of the Cintas Center.
The John A. Elet, S.J., Scholar award was given to Alexandra Lake, 22, of Madison, Wis., who graduated with a business degree in economics and international business and a minor in Spanish. The award is named after Xavier’s first president and recognizes a student for academic and service excellence. Lake, who also was a member of the women’s golf team, is going to work for Procter and Gamble as an assistant brand manager.
Associate chemistry professor and department chairman Daniel McLoughlin received the Paul O’Connor Leadership Award at the undergraduate ceremony. McLoughlin is retiring after 31 years in the Department of Chemistry, which he has chaired since 2001. He’s been active in recruiting minority students for the sciences and been a member of the Health Sciences Committee for 31 years. McLoughlin began as an assistant professor at Xavier in 1982 and has been recognized multiple times for his outstanding teaching and service to his discipline