More than 3,000 students to receive degrees May 16

by Julie Hail Flory


More than 3,000 students will receive degrees Sunday (May 16) at Notre Dame’s 165th University Commencement Ceremony, which will be held at 9 a.m. in Notre Dame Stadium.

Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News,” will be the principal speaker and recipient of an honorary degree. Dana Gioia, poet and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will receive the 2010 Laetare Medal, Notre Dame’s highest honor and the most prestigious award given to American Catholics.

Katie Washington, a biological sciences major from Gary, Ind., will deliver the valedictory address.

Degrees will be conferred on 1,829 undergraduates at the Sunday University Commencement Ceremony. On Saturday, an additional 558 students will receive master’s and doctoral degrees at the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony, along with 476 master’s degree students at the Mendoza College of Business Ceremony and 197 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 Williams, other honorary degree recipients are: Steven J. Brickner, a leader in the field of antibacterial drug development; Scott Cowen, president of Tulane University; Archibishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America; Rev. Reginald Foster, a Catholic Carmelite priest and one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Latin language; MaryAnn Mathile, chief executive officer, board chair and treasurer of the Mathile Family Foundation; Marc Maurer, a 1974 Notre Dame alumnus and president of the National Federation of the Blind; venture capitalist Ted McCourtney; and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.

Other notable Commencement weekend events are:

  • Mendoza College of Business Graduate Commencement, Saturday, 10 a.m., north dome, Joyce Center
  • Graduate School Commencement, Saturday, 10 a.m., Purcell Pavilion, 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 at

A number of events will be streamed live on the Internet at