Notre Dame to Award Cardinal O’Malley Honorary Degree at Spring Commencement

Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley (c) George Martell - Pilot New Media

At its 169thCommencement Ceremonythis May, the University of Notre Dame will award a total of seven honorary degrees, including one to Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston. The University will honor distinguished figures in the Catholic Church, community leadership, education, engineering, the performing arts and businesson May 18 (Sunday).

Cardinal O’Malley,a member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin who are known for their commitment to simplicity and care for the poor, was appointed by Pope John Paul II as archbishop of Boston in 2003. Cardinal O’Malley also serves as the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. In 2013, Pope Francis appointed him to a council of eight cardinals charged with the task of assisting the Holy Father with the governance of the Catholic Church, and in the spring of this year appointed him to the newly established Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Cardinal O’Malley will be awarded a doctor of laws. The Cardinal earned his undergraduate degree from Capuchin College in Washington, D.C., and his master’s and doctoral degrees from The Catholic University of America, where he later served as a faculty member. He has spent a considerable portion of his pastoral career ministering in Latin America, the Caribbean, and among Latino and Haitian immigrants to the United States. During the course of his ministry in Washington, D.C. in the 1970’s, the Cardinal founded the CentroCatolicoHispano, the Spanish Catholic Center, providing a wide array of services for immigrants arriving in the Washington area. He was named a bishop in 1984, first assigned to the Diocese of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and was later named the Bishop of the Diocese of Fall River in Massachusetts and then the Diocese of Palm Beach in Florida.

Other honorary degree recipients are:

  • Christopher Patten (Lord Patten of Barnes), chancellor of the University of Oxford and chair of theBBCtrust, is the Commencement Speaker and will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., said of Patten,”One of Britain’s and the world’s preeminent Catholics, Lord Patten was called upon by his government to help resolve some of the most daunting issues on the world stage, including his masterful governance of Hong Kong’s transition from British to Chinese rule and his groundbreaking reforms of policing in Northern Ireland.”
  • W. Douglas Ford(doctor of engineering) — A Notre Dame alumnus, parent, Fellow and Trustee, Ford is a retired oil industry executive and generous philanthropist. His benefaction created the University’sFord Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarityto address the challenges of those living in extreme poverty, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Rev.Ray Hammond(doctor of humane letters) — A Harvard-trained surgeon and urban community leader, Hammond is the founder and pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Bostonin 1988 in their dining room and quickly became leaders in youth and community outreach.
  • EvelynHu(doctor of engineering) — A pioneer in the field ofnanoscaleelectronic andphotonicdevices,Huis a professor of applied physics and electrical engineering at Harvard University.
  • Judith Jamison(doctor of fine arts) — A world-renowned dancer and choreographer, Jamison is the artistic directoremeritaof the historicAlvinAileyAmerican Dance Theater, which she led for 21 years.She recently became the50thinductee into the Hall of Fame at the National Dance Museum.
  • Sally Mason(doctor of laws) — A cell and developmental biologist and distinguished leader in higher education, Mason is the20thpresident of the University of Iowa.As president, she has spearheaded a sustainable university initiative, started a student success initiative that has increased enrollment and retention, and successfully advocated for the first tuition freeze in 30 years.

The ceremony will be held in the morning of May 18at Notre Dame Stadium. Undergraduate diploma ceremonies for each college and school will be held the afternoon of May 18, and the Law School, graduate business and Graduate School ceremonies will take place May 17.

Originally published by Brendan O’Shaughnessy at on March 31, 2014.

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