More than 3,100 students will receive degrees May 22 (Sunday) at Notre Dame’s 166th University Commencement Ceremony, which will be held at 9 a.m. in Notre Dame Stadium.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates will be the principal speaker and recipient of an honorary degree. Sister Mary Scullion, R.S.M., and Joan McConnon, co-founders of Project H.O.M.E., an organization devoted to ending homelessness in Philadelphia, will jointly receive the 2011 Laetare Medal, Notre Dame’s highest honor and the most prestigious award given to American Catholics.
Edward Larkin, a biological sciences major from East Lansing, Mich., will deliver the valedictory address.
Degrees will be conferred on 1,960 undergraduates at the Sunday University Commencement Ceremony. On Saturday, an additional 527 students will receive master’s and doctoral degrees at the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony, along with 417 master’s degree students at the Mendoza College of Business Ceremony and 212 students at the Law School Ceremony. Although conferred on Saturday, fifteen master’s students in the School of Architecture will receive degrees at the School of Architecture ceremony on Sunday.
In addition to Gates, other honorary degree recipients are: Michael J. Brennan, professor emeritus of finance at UCLA and the London Business School; Shirin Ebadi, human rights activist and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize; John W. Glynn, founder and president of Glynn Capital Management; Michael D. Griffin, physicist, aerospace engineer and former NASA administrator; Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame football coach; Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tuscon, Ariz.; Huguette Labelle, chancellor of the University of Ottawa; Laurent Lafforgue, French mathematician and professor at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques; Charles F. “Chuck” Lennon, associate vice president and executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association; John C. Mather, a co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize for physics and a senior NASA astrophysicist; Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and chief executive officer of the Acumen Fund; and Mary Beth O’Brien, a former president of the Ladies of Charity USA.
Other notable Commencement weekend events are:
• Mendoza College of Business Graduate Commencement, Saturday, 10 a.m., Purcell Pavilion, Joyce Center
• Graduate School Commencement, Saturday, 10 a.m., North Dome, Joyce Center
• Notre Dame Law School Commencement, Saturday, 1:30 p.m., Hesburgh Library reflecting pool
• ROTC commissioning ceremony, Saturday, 9 a.m., Leighton Concert Hall, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
• Service send-off ceremony, Saturday, 1 p.m., Leighton Concert Hall, DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
• Commencement Mass, Saturday, 5 p.m., Purcell Pavilion, Joyce Center
A complete schedule of events is available on the Commencement website.
A number of events will be streamed live on the Internet.