An astronaut, a California state assemblymember, a U.S. State Department foreign policy advisor and a Catholic cardinal are among keynote speakers for commencement ceremonies at four local Catholic colleges this month.
Former astronaut James Lovell will speak at Loyola Marymount University’s undergraduate commencement ceremony May 10, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Sunken Garden. Lovell — the command module pilot of Apollo 8 (the first manned mission to the moon in 1968) and commander of Apollo 13 that survived a harrowing ordeal in space in 1970 — will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from LMU at the commencement.
Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, the President’s Marymount Institute Professor in Residence, is scheduled to deliver LMU’s graduate commencement address on May 11, 10-11:30 a.m. U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Sung Kim, a Loyola Law School ’85 graduate, will be the keynote speaker at Loyola Law School’s commencement on May 18. (The Commencement Mass will be held on May 9, 7:30 p.m., in LMU’s Gersten Pavilion.)
California State Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) will be the commencement speaker for the May 10, 11 a.m. graduation ceremony at Marymount California University’s Oceanview campus in Rancho Palos Verdes. Located within the 66th California Assembly district represented by Muratsuchi, the university will present the legislator an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities at the commencement ceremony for his lifelong service for the benefit of those living in Los Angeles County.
On May 9, Marymount will hold its Commencement Mass and Hooding Ceremony on campus at 5 p.m. The liturgy, open to all graduates, family members and friends, includes a ceremonial blessing of the academic hood for each graduate.
Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love, an international relations expert, noted author and tenured professor at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., will be the keynote speaker at Mount St. Mary’s College’s Commencement taking place May 12, 3 p.m., at the Shrine Auditorium. As a core member of the U.S. State Department’s working group on Religion and Foreign Policy, Love makes recommendations to the Secretary of State and the Federal Advisory Commission on how the U.S. government can better engage with civil society and religious actors in foreign policy.
This year’s recipient of MSMC’s Carondelet Medal, annually awarded at its Commencement exercises, will be Robert A. Smith III, the president of the Carrie Estelle Doheny Foundation and past president of the Catholic Education Foundation. MSMC’s Graduation Mass for all 2014 Mount graduates will be held May 12, 9:30 a.m., in St. Vincent Church next to the Doheny campus.
At Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien will preside at the May 17, 8:30 a.m. Baccalaureate Mass for graduating seniors and their families in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel, and he will present the commencement address at the 11 a.m. graduation ceremony on the Academic Quadrangle.
Formerly archbishop of Baltimore and of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, Cardinal O’Brien currently serves as Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, which is responsible for promoting and defending Christianity in the Holy Land.
The cardinal will be presented with the Saint Thomas Aquinas Medallion at the commencement ceremony in recognition of his extraordinary dedication to God and His Church. Past recipients include Blessed Mother Teresa and Cardinal O’Brien’s onetime superior, Cardinal John O’Connor.