2016 Commencement


Biden and Boehner jointly receive Laetare Medal

Remarks of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., upon conferring the 2016 Laetare Medals.

“Man is a political animal,” wrote Aristotle, and thus, as St. Thomas Aquinas noted, some are charged to combine practical reason with a concern for the community to fashion laws that serve their fellow citizens. Through the invitation of one of our Laetare awardees, Pope Francis became the first pontiff to address a joint meeting of Congress. As our awardees stood behind the Holy Father on that historic day, he reminded the assembled legislators that theirs is the call to “the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good … the chief aim of politics.” No doubt today’s medalists had occasion to reflect on their long careers given to that pursuit.

The commencement of the Class of 2016

The families, friends and graduates of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2016 in Notre Dame Stadium Sunday morning (May 15) braved unseasonably chilly weather to celebrate the University’s 171st Commencement Ceremony.

Graduate School degree recipients are urged to confront global challenges

Rita Colwell, the first woman to direct the National Science Foundation (NSF), told the University of Notre Dame’s Graduate School degree recipients during Saturday’s (May 14) Commencement Ceremony that they will not lack for challenges, excitement or gratification and that she is confident that they can change our world.

Notre Dame to confer 3,065 degrees during Commencement ceremonies May 14-15

Degrees will be conferred on 2,163 undergraduates at Notre Dame’s 171st University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday. Retired U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary degree. Vice President Joe Biden and former House Speaker John Boehner will receive the 2016 Laetare Medal (lay-TAH-ray), the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics.

Security measures announced for 2016 University Commencement Ceremony

Due to the participation of Laetare Medal co-recipient Vice President Joe Biden, additional security measures will be in place at the University of Notre Dame’s 171st University Commencement Ceremony May 15 (Sunday) at Notre Dame Stadium.

Rita Colwell, former director of NSF, to deliver the Graduate School Commencement Address

Rita Colwell, a molecular microbiologist whose research focuses on global infectious diseases, water and health, will deliver the commencement address on May 14 (Saturday) at the commencement ceremony for the University of Notre Dame Graduate School.

Abby Davis named 2016 valedictorian; Stephen Schafer chosen as salutatorian

Abby Davis, a political science major from Avon Lake, Ohio, has been named valedictorian of the 2016 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during the 171st University Commencement Ceremony on May 15 (Sunday) at Notre Dame Stadium.

For the first time in 45 years, the University has named a salutatorian. The salutatorian will offer the Commencement invocation and will be prepared to deliver a valedictory address should the valedictorian be unable to do so.

Richard Notebaert named recipient of first Hesburgh-Stephan Medal

The University of Notre Dame will inaugurate a new award during its 171st University Commencement Ceremony May 15.

As the University looks forward to the 50th anniversary of its Board of Trustees, it will award the Hesburgh-Stephan Medal, named in honor of the late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s 15th president, under whose leadership the Board was established, and Edmund A. Stephan, first chairman of the Board.

Renowned microbiologist Rita Colwell to receive Notre Dame honorary degree

Rita Colwell, a molecular microbiologist whose research focuses on global infectious diseases, water and health, will receive a doctor of science honorary degree at the University of Notre Dame’s 171st University Commencement Ceremony on May 15 (Sunday). She joins six previously announced honorary degree recipients.

Biden and Boehner to jointly receive Laetare Medal

In recognition of their leadership, civility and dedication to our nation, the University of Notre Dame will present two Catholic officials from opposing political parties — Vice President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner — with its 2016 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics. The award will be presented at Notre Dame’s 171st University Commencement Ceremony on May 15 (Sunday).

Notre Dame to confer six honorary degrees at commencement

Five distinguished figures in the Catholic Church, civil rights, the arts, business and higher education will join principal speaker retired U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey as honorary degree recipients at the University of Notre Dame’s 171st University Commencement Ceremony on May 15 (Sunday).

Gen. Martin Dempsey to serve as 2016 Commencement speaker

Recently retired U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the past four years, will be the principal speaker and receive an honorary degree at the University of Notre Dame’s 171st University Commencement Ceremony on May 15.

“Gen. Dempsey is a military strategist who was trained as a humanist, and the top military adviser to the president who has always shown great concern for the common soldiers under his command,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “In dangerous and uncertain times, he has proven a steady, wise and conscientious leader.”