News Release Library
April 15, 2011

Vartan Gregorian to Speak at Commencement

Vartan Gregorian to Speak at Commencement

St. Edward's University will confer 690 degrees during the university's 125th commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, at the Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River. Vartan Gregorian, the president of Carnegie Corporation, will deliver the keynote address and will be recognized with an honorary degree.

Vartan Gregorian has served in many influential roles during his distinguished career as an educator, author and institutional leader. In his current position as the 12th president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, Gregorian has ushered the largest American grantmaking foundation to its 100th year in fulfilling its mission “for doing real and permanent good in the world.”

Gregorian is a world citizen who embraces the importance of international understanding. Born in Tabriz, Iran, of Armenian parents, he received his elementary education in Iran and his secondary education in Lebanon. Majoring in history and the humanities at Stanford University, he earned Baccalaureate honors in 1958 as well as a PhD in 1964.

Gregorian has dedicated a significant part of his career to higher education, teaching European and Middle Eastern history. At the University of Pennsylvania, he was appointed Tarzian Professor of History, became the founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and ultimately served as the University’s 23rd provost. Gregorian later became the 16th president of Brown University.

Gregorian’s work and philosophy are aligned with the highest ideals of the Holy Cross educational heritage.  Throughout his career he has advocated that education, learning and scholarship constitute acts of faith in the continuation of humanity.

In 1981, he became the president of the New York Public Library, where he contributed new levels of professionalism and commitment for eight years. Gregorian’s stewardship of the library deepened his understanding of the power of philanthropy. His experiences with some of the most prominent philanthropists in the nation broadened his perspective that the duty of giving, along with the genuine joy of helping a cause that one deeply and profoundly believes in, is an essential part of American culture. 

Having served in a progression of prestigious posts where he made significant contributions, and being the recipient of more than 60 honorary degrees, it is no wonder that he has been praised by American Presidents. President Bill Clinton awarded him the National Humanities Medal. President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil award.

A Glimpse of the May 2011 Graduates
St. Edward's University officials will confer approximately 690 degrees this spring. Degree distribution is as follows:

Traditional Undergraduates                        493
New College Undergraduates                       74
Graduate                                                 123
Total                                                       690

Jamie Wolff will deliver the valedictory address. Wolff will graduate summa cum laude with a dual degree: a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. While pursuing her degree, she dedicated three years of professional work experience to the healthcare industry. At St. David's Healthcare, she worked in the medical records department and is currently working as a registrar in the emergency room.

Wolff plans to pursue a career in healthcare administration with the hope of one day holding a senior management position and possibly even becoming a Chief Operating Officer. She plans to attend graduate school to receive either a Master’s in Business Administration or a Master’s in Healthcare Administration.

While at St. Edward’s, Wolff served as vice president of the Psych Society and as a teaching assistant and tutor for Dr. Carolyn Conn's Managerial Accounting class. Through this experience, Wolff learned that one of the most important things you can do with an education is to share your knowledge with others and help them realize their potential.

Graduation Information for Students and Parents
Graduates should plan to meet at the Frank Erwin Center in the Lone Star Room between 9 and 9:15 a.m. Use the Red River Street entrance and follow the signs to the Lone Star Room for lining up. Ushers will be available to direct the graduates. At 9:15 a.m., graduates will start assembling into ranks.

Only graduates and faculty members will be seated in the chairs on the floor. Guests in wheelchairs should enter through the Red River Street entrance where ushers will assist them to the elevator and to the Arena Level.

After the ceremony, graduates should arrange to meet with their family and friends outside the Frank Erwin Center on the north end by the flagpoles.

Parking instructions for graduates and their guests.

Celebrate Baccalaureate Mass

A special Baccalaureate Mass will be celebrated for all graduates and their families. The Baccalaureate Mass will be celebrated on Friday, May 13, at 7 p.m., at St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church, 126 W. Oltorf. Graduates should arrive at 6:30 p.m. to line up for the procession, dressed in cap and gown. Don’t miss this opportunity to join with your family, friends and fellow graduates to ask for God’s blessing as you graduate.