Sheeran to give keynote speech

In his final weeks at Seton Hall, University President Msgr. Robert Sheeran will address students and their families as the keynote speaker at the 2010 Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremony on Monday, May 17 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ.

The ceremony, which will feature the keynote speaker and the awarding of honorary degrees, will consist of several special details to celebrate Sheeran’s tenure at Seton Hall.

Associate Provost Mary Kirk Rawn, who co-chairs the event with Mary Ellen Farrell of Enrollment Services and University Registrar, said that Sheeran was chosen as the speaker to inspire graduating students to provide greater service and the greater good.

“During Msgr. Sheeran’s 15-year tenure as our president, the university’s national reputation has increased as never before, and, under his leadership, we have made great strides in academics, admissions, fund-raising and fulfilling Seton Hall’s Catholic mission,” Rawn said. “It is most appropriate that he be honored by being selected to deliver the keynote address at the Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremony.”

Baccalaureate candidates will be called to the stage and can shake hands with Sheeran, a member of the Board of Regents, and the dean of their respective college.

According to Rawn, there will be a change in attire this year, in honor of Sheeran’s final Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremony as president. Graduating students will forego the traditional black caps and gowns and will instead wear Seton Hall blue caps and gowns.

Rawn also said graduating students will receive a diploma case with the Seton Hall logo on the front this year.

The commencement calendar, which is finalized and not subject to change, will also feature the awarding of two honorary degrees.

The recipients of this special honor are Eric F. Ross, a Holocaust survivor and philanthropist whose merit is nationally and internationally recognized, and Sister Sara Butler, a theology professor at St. Joseph’s Seminary. Butler, according to Rawn, was appointed to the International Theological Commission in 2004.

The Commencement Ceremony schedule also includes the Mass of Academic Investiture, the President’s Reception and the Undergraduate Academic Awards Ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, May 16.
The Graduate Commencement and Hooding Ceremonies are set to take place on May 14 and May 15 respectively.

The Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m.
Graduating students are asked to arrive no later than 9:30 a.m. Guests who are attending the ceremony are asked to be seated no later than 10 a.m.

Samantha Desmond can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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