More than 2,900 students received degrees Sunday (May 15) at the University of Notre Dames 160th Commencement exercises, which were held in the Joyce Center on campus.
Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation and former president of Brown University, was the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree. Dr. Joseph E. Murray, the Nobel laureate who performed the first successful organ transplant 51 years ago, received the 2005 Laetare Medal, the most prestigious award given to American Catholics.
Enrique Schaerer, a double major in political science and finance from Las Vegas, delivered the valedictory address.
Degrees were conferred on 2,040 undergraduates, 274 masters and doctoral students in the Notre Dame Graduate School, 398 masters degree students in the Mendoza College of Business, and 205 Notre Dame Law School students.
In addition to Gregorian, other honorary degree recipients were: Major League Baseball legend Hank Aaron; Cardinal Francis Arinze, the Vatican’s prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Dr. Benjamin Carson, director of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University; Robert Conway, senior director of Goldman Sachs; civil and human rights lawyer Jack Greenberg; acclaimed mathematician Joseph Keller; actress Sonia Manzano, best known for her role as Maria onSesame Street; James Morris, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme; Anne Mulcahy, chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox; Steven Sample, president of the University of Southern California; eye surgeon Dr. Carol Lally Shields; and Dr. Joseph Walther, founder of the Walther Cancer Institute of Indianapolis.