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Franciscan University to Honor Three at Commencement Exercises

4/4/2012 - 8:20 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

STEUBENVILLE, OH (April 4, 2012) - Franciscan University of Steubenville will celebrate its sixty-fourth annual commencement exercises, May 11-12, 2012.

With over 700 expected graduates, the ceremonies will be one of the largest in the University's history and will include the first graduates from the online Master of Science in Education program.

Three speakers noted for their Catholic faith and public service will address the graduates: the Most Reverend Arthur Serratelli, bishop of Paterson, New Jersey; retired Air Force General Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency; and Dr. Marie Hilliard, director of Bioethics and Public Policy for the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

"This year's commencement speakers have distinguished themselves by defending our shores, protecting the sacredness of human life, and shaping our form of worship as Catholics," says University President Father Terence Henry, TOR. "These outstanding leaders will send forth the Class of 2012 with the faith, hope, and courage so needed in our world today."

Events begin Friday, May 11, at 6:00 p.m. with the Baccalaureate Mass in Finnegan Fieldhouse. The celebrant and homilist, Bishop Serratelli, will receive an honorary doctorate of Christian letters for his contribution to the Church in the translation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal into English.

The new translation of the Mass, in use in English-speaking countries since November 27, 2011, is one of the most significant changes in the liturgy since the liturgical reforms immediately following the Second Vatican Council.

Bishop Serratelli has been influential throughout the process of preparing and developing the new translation, including serving previously as chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Liturgy and presently as a member of the Committee on Divine Worship. Internationally, he serves on the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) and is the secretary of the Vatican's Vox Clara Committee. Bishop Serratelli was ordained a bishop in 2000 and installed as Paterson's seventh bishop in 2004.

On Saturday, May 12, commencement ceremonies begin at 9:00 a.m. with the conferral of master's degrees in Christ the King Chapel.

Dr. Marie Hilliard, director of Bioethics and Public Policy for the National Catholic Bioethics Center, will address graduates of master's programs in business, counseling, education, educational administration, nursing, philosophy, and theology. She will receive an honorary doctorate in Christian ethics for her extensive contributions in the area of Catholic bioethics.

Hilliard is on the front lines in the major bioethical controversies of the day, speaking out for the unborn, the elderly, the sick, and the vulnerable wherever they are threatened. She has an extensive professional background in medical ethics and public policy and advocacy as the former director of the Connecticut Catholic Conference, the public policy and advocacy arm of the Catholic Bishops of Connecticut. She has been substantially involved in healthcare regulation at the state and national levels for 12 years. In addition, she is a canon lawyer and serves as a resource for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the implementation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Services and on Church-State relations.

The largest ceremony of the day will take place at 11:30 a.m. in Finnegan Fieldhouse, where students will receive bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, or associate's degrees from among 40 programs.

Addressing the Class of 2012 will be General Michael Hayden, the former director of the CIA. Hayden will receive an honorary doctorate in public administration for his years of service to the United States.

Hayden's service to the United States includes nearly 40 years in the U.S Air Force. After being appointed by President Bill Clinton, Hayden served as the director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and chief of the Central Security Service (CSS) from 1999-2005. From 2005-2006, General Hayden served as the principal deputy director of national intelligence, the highest-ranking military intelligence officer in the country. In this capacity, he oversaw the entire intelligence community, including the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office. He became director of the CIA in May of 2006 and served until 2009.

Franciscan University President Father Terence Henry, TOR, will confer the degrees, and Father Nicholas Polichnowski, TOR, chairman of the Board of Trustees, will preside at both commencement ceremonies along with members of the Board of Trustees and Board of Advisors.

The top five states represented by the 2012 graduating class, in order, are Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, California, and Illinois. Graduates also hail from Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, and the Philippines.

The top 10 majors for the Class of 2012 are theology, business, catechetics, education, philosophy, nursing, biology, history, mental health and human services, and English.

2012 Commencement Schedule

Baccalaureate Mass
Friday, May 11, 6:00 p.m., Finnegan Fieldhouse, Open Admission
Catered Reception for Graduates and Families to Follow

Graduate Commencement
Saturday, May 12, 9:00 a.m., Christ the King Chapel, Tickets Required

Undergraduate Commencement
Saturday, May 12, 11:30 a.m., Finnegan Fieldhouse, Tickets Required

Live streaming video of each ceremony will be shown on Franciscan University's website,


Franciscan University of Steubenville  OH, 43952 US
Tom Sofio - Associate Director of Public Relations, 


Franciscan University, Steubenville, Commencement, Graduation, 2012, Hayden, Serratelli, Hilliard



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