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Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, to address St. John’s University class of 2023 during May commencement ceremony

Apr. 7, 2023 By Bill Parry

St. John’s University announced that Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, will serve as the distinguished speaker and an honoree during its undergraduate commencement on Sunday, May 21. The graduation ceremony will take place on the Great Lawn on SJU’s Hillcrest campus.

Previously the recipient of an honorary degree from St. John’s, Cardinal Dolan will receive the University’s Gold Medal at commencement.

“St. John’s University is an integral part of both the academic and religious fabric of the city of New York and I very much look forward to addressing the graduates, their families and friends and the distinguished faculty at the undergraduate commencement exercises on May 21,” Cardinal Dolan said. “It is a particular honor for me to be invited to speak, as the Vincentian Fathers, sponsors of this great university, also have a rich history in my home archdiocese of Saint Louis, where they trained men for the priesthood for more than 175 years.”

Known for his engaging personality, Cardinal Dolan has served as chairman of Catholic Relief Services and is currently a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization. He served as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and, following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Dolan participated in the Vatican conclave that elected Pope Francis in March 2013.

Cardinal Dolan is an active voice in defense of the poor, refugees and asylum seekers and is a driving force in cultivating ecumenical and charitable outreach throughout the Archdiocese.

“A longtime supporter of Catholic higher education and St. John’s University, Cardinal Dolan was one of the first New Yorkers to welcome me when I became president,” SJU President Rev. Brian J. Shanley said. “He remains a trusted friend and I am grateful for his service to New York and the universal church.”

SJU will also bestow honorary doctoral degrees to Sr. Regina M. Bechtle, charism resource director, Sister of Charity of New York; and Pascal Desroches, senior executive vice president and chief financial officer, AT&T, Inc.

The undergraduate commencement on the Great Lawn begins at 10 a.m. Graduate-level commencement exercises will be held on May 19 at Carnesecca Arena and St. John’s School of Law commencement exercises will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 21 at Carnesecca Arena.

SJU has more than 1,300 full-time and part-time faculty, 15,652 undergraduate students and 4,011 graduate students who come from 48 states and 118 countries. St. John’s offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, including 16 doctoral programs.

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