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TMC 2007 Commencement Speakers

3/23/2007 - 12:00 AM PST

Catholic PRWire


February 22, 2007
Contact: Nicholas Sanchez
Phone: (603) 557-7164


Merrimack, New Hampshire, March 23, 2007 — We have an exciting line-up for the Commencement exercises. Acclaimed novelist, essayist, and professor, Ron Hansen, will deliver the commencement address on May 13, 2007. Mr. Hansen has authored nine books, including: 'Desperados', 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford', 'Hitler’s Niece', 'Atticus', and 'Mariette in Ecstasy'. He also has published 'Nebraska', a collection of short stories, and 'A Stay against Confusion', a collection of essays on the connection between writing and faith. 'Atticus' was a 1996 finalist for the National Book Award, and 'Mariette in Ecstasy' won both the Bay Area Reviewers Association prize and the Gold Medal for Excellence in Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California.

The Assassination of Jesse James has been adapted into a film version starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck. It is set to be released by Warner Bros. in September 2007. Hansen’s novelized life of the Jesuit Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins will be published early next year.

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Mr. Hansen earned his Bachelor’s degree in English from Creighton University. He undertook graduate studies at the University of Iowa and Stanford University.

Mr. Hansen holds the Gerald Manley Hopkins S.J. chair of Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University, where he serves as a professor in the English department. Married to fellow writer Bo Caldwell, Mr. Hansen was recently ordained as a permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church.

The College will bestow Mr. Hansen an honorary doctorate in recognition of his significant contributions to literature.

In addition to Mr. Hansen, Thomas More College will honor two other scholars for a lifetime of academic distinction and contribution to the humanities: Professors John Lukacs and the Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Robert F. Taft, S.J.

Dr. Lukacs, a Hungarian native, is a celebrated historian of the twentieth century. His original scholarship spans the nature of historical thinking, the origins of the Cold War, World War II and the imposing figures of that period--Stalin, Roosevelt, Hitler, and Churchill--and populist movements in America and abroad. An author of nearly thirty books, including the bestselling Five Days in London, Dr. Lukacs has also written hundreds of articles and reviews on history and politics.

From 1947 to 1994, Dr. Lukacs was professor of history at Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania. He also chaired the history department from 1947 to 1974, and has served as a visiting professor at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, and the University of Budapest.

The Right Rev. Robert F. Taft S.J. is the retired Professor of Oriental Liturgy at the Pontifical Institute in Rome (1970-2002), where he also served as Vice-Rector from 1995-2001. Widely-recognized as the world’s leading expert in the field of Oriental liturgies, Father Taft has also, since 1974, been Visiting Professor of Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame and was the past Director of the Graduate Program in Liturgical studies there from 1977 to 1979.

A prolific writer, Father Taft has written and edited thirty-five books and published over seven hundred articles on subjects ranging from Eastern liturgies to broader ecumenical questions. In 1998, Metropolitan Stephen Sulyk elevated Father Taft to the rank of Mitred Archimandrite in recognition of all his scholarly and pastoral contributions to the Eastern Churches. Likewise, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has bestowed a similar honor upon him.

As we get closer to the May 13, further details will be forthcoming on events surrounding graduation exercises. For further information about the College, please visit our web site:

To interview President Jeffrey O. Nelson, or for any media inquiries, please contact Nicholas Sanchez.


Thomas More College  NH,  US
Nicholas Sanchez - Director of External Affairs, 603 557.7164


Thomas More College


Catholic Schools & Religious Education

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