More than 2,800 students will receive degrees Sunday (May 21) at the University of Notre Dames 161 st Commencement exercises, which will be held at2 p.m.in theJoyceCenteron campus. **
Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree. Jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck will receive the 2006 Laetare Medal, Notre Dame’s highest honor and the most prestigious award given to American Catholics.
Catherine Distler, a double major in anthropology and preprofessional studies fromLeawood,Kan., will deliver the valedictory address.
Degrees will be conferred on 1,935 undergraduates, 318 masters and doctoral students in theNotre DameGraduateSchool, 380 masters degree students in the Mendoza College of Business, and 191Notre DameLawSchoolstudents.
In addition to McAleese, other honorary degree recipients are: Landrum R. Bolling, higher education leader and international peace maker; Kevin Cahill, internationally known expert on tropical medicine; Anthony F. Earley Jr., chairman of the board, chief executive officer, chief operating officer and president of DTE Energy Company; Norman C. Francis, president of Xavier University; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee; Gil Loescher, emeritus professor at Notre Dame and an international expert on refugee and humanitarian issues; Francis C. Oakley, president emeritus of Williams College; philanthropist Karen Rauenhorst; John F. “Jack” Sandner, retired chair of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange; Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M.; Matthew V. Storin, noted journalist and retired associate vice president at Notre Dame; and Thomas P. Sullivan, trial lawyer and formerU.S.attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.