Father Jenkins receives honorary degree

by Brendan O'Shaughnessy

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, received an honorary doctoral degree from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich., during the school’s commencement exercises on May 7.

Father Jenkins also addressed about 500 graduates and their friends and family as the principal speaker at the commencement, which served as the opening event of the Aquinas 125th anniversary celebration.

Father Jenkins was elected president-elect in 2004 and became the University’s 17th president in 2005. He served the previous four years as vice president and associate provost.

Father Jenkins earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy from Notre Dame in 1976 and 1978, and was ordained a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1983. He also holds bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Oxford and advanced degrees from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.

Father Jenkins has been a member of the Notre Dame philosophy faculty since 1990 and is the author of the book “Knowledge and Faith in Thomas Aquinas.”

He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the American Irish Historical Society’s Gold Medal, and he was elected last year to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an association that has recognized this nation’s leading “thinkers and doers” since the 18th century.