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Congratulations, Class of 2015!

Event Details

More than 1,200 baccalaureate and advanced degrees were conferred during Loyola University Maryland’s 163rd Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at Royal Farms Arena.

Commencement Address: Nicholas Burns

Nicholas BurnsNicholas Burns is the director of the Future Diplomacy Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, which focuses on promoting the study and understanding of diplomacy, negotiation, and statecraft in international politics. He is also faculty chair for the programs on the Middle East and on India and South Asia.

Burns has dedicated his life to international affairs, serving in the United States government for 27 years as a career foreign service officer. As under secretary of state for political affairs from 2005 to 2008, he led negotiations on the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, a long-term military assistance agreement with Israel, and was the lead U.S. negotiator on Iran’s nuclear program. He also served as U.S. ambassador to NATO, ambassador to Greece, State Department spokesman, and at the White House National Security Council from 1990-95 as an advisor on Soviet and then Russian affairs for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  

He is currently a member of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board at the U.S. Department of State and writes a biweekly column on foreign affairs for the Boston Globe. He also serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including the Council on Foreign Relations, Special Olympics, the Atlantic Council, and on the Committee on Conscience at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Learn more about Burns.

Graduating Greyhounds

Meet some of our graduating Greyhounds:

Mary Ellen Koontz 

Mary Ellen Koontz

Mary Ellen is putting her degree in political science to work when she moves to Washington, D.C., in August for a position with Church World Service as the Policy and Advocacy Fellow for the Immigration and Refugee Program.

Read Mary Ellen’s story >>           

Gabe Carter

Gabriel Carter

Gabriel Carter's plans after graduation include working for a design agency in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia metro area and continuing to build his own graphic design business, which he started last year, before attending graduate school at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 2016.

Read Gabriel’s story >>

Taryn VanThof

Taryn VanThof

The record-setting senior led the women’s lacrosse team to the Patriot League Championship and the program’s fifth straight NCAA bid. After she earns her degree in business management and marketing from Loyola, Taryn VanThof will play midfield for the U.S. Women’s Lacrosse National Team in the Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup this summer.

Read Taryn’s story >>    

Joseph Cahalan

Joseph Cahalan

A two-time captain of the Greyhounds men’s soccer team and Sellinger Scholar, Joseph Cahalan will begin a career in the financial services industry in Baltimore after he graduates from Loyola.

Read Joseph’s story >>         

Samantha Thompson

Samantha Thompson

Samantha Thompson can’t get enough of Loyola… which is why she’s sticking around for graduate school. She will pursue her Master of Science in Speech Pathology beginning in the fall.

Read Samantha’s story >>   

Cory Hudson

Cory Hodson

The Student Body President is moving to New Haven, Conn., where he will attend the Yale Divinity School and pursue a Master of Arts in Religion with a concentration in ethics.

Read Cory’s story >>

Jordan Differding

Jordan Differding

After he receives his master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola, graduate student Jordan Differding will be working at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., focusing on swallowing, speech language, and cognitive disorders.

Read Jordan's story >> 

Lauren Heery

Lauren Heery

Following graduation, Senior Lauren Heery will explore one of two opportunities—one in service and the other in research. She ultimately plans to apply to medical school for entry in fall 2016.

Read Lauren’s story >>

Juliana Restivo

Juliana Restivo

Beginning in the fall, Juliana Restivo will attend Boston University to receive a Master of Science in Public Health with a concentration in global health.

Read Juliana’s story >>

Mustafa Wahid

Mustafa Wahid

Inspired by Singularity University’s mission, “Change 1 billion lives within a decade,” Mustafa Wahid plans to merge biotechnology, design thinking, sociology, and entrepreneurship to do just that—with hopes of participating in an entrepreneurship fellows program at the University of Baltimore.

Read Mustafa’s story >>

Kevin Zelaya

Kevin Zelaya

After taking the CPA this summer, Kevin Zelaya will be working as a Core Assurance Associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the fall.

Read Kevin’s story >>

Zoine

Jaquelyn Zoine

Jacquelyn Zoine has been accepted to Emory University, where she will pursue her doctorate in Cancer Biology.

Read Jaquelyn’s story >>

Patricia Bryan

Patricia Bryan

Two days after graduation, Patricia Bryan will leave for El Salvador to take part in a mission trip before returning to Baltimore to study for her LSATs, which she will take next year. Her summer plans include, among other things, work on several projects for the University in conjunction with WLOY and publishing a book of her poetry.

Read Patricia’s story >>

Jerrod Ridgway

Jerrod Ridgway

“I can’t even begin to speak about how much I have valued this education. I’ve learned so much in so many different areas academically,” Jerrod Ridgway said about leaving Loyola. He begins a career as a financial analyst at Wells Fargo shortly after graduation.

Read Jerrod's story >>

Felisa Velasco

Felisa Velasco

Senior Felisa Velasco, who says her “love for art and biology has geared me toward the profession of dentistry,” is moving to Aurora, Colo., to attend the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine.

Read Felisa's story >>

Laura Biesiadecki

Laura Biesiadecki

Laura Biesiadecki will find herself on Rutgers University’s Newark campus for the next two years, pursuing a master’s degree in English. She ultimately plans to obtain a doctorate and teach Modern British and Irish Literature.

Read Laura's story >>

Rachel Christian

Rachel Christian

Rachel Christian has already started her position working with Baltimore-based human services nonprofit organization GEDCO CARES Career Connection, where she puts her degree in writing and her passion for service to work assisting low-income clients struggling to navigate the job market in today’s computerized age.

Read Rachel's story >>           

Dwayne Thomas II

Dwayne Thomas II

“If we continue to strive to provide everyone with opportunity, the world will be a better place,” said Senior Dwayne Thomas, who begins a clinical research internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital with Dr. Christopher Wolfgang following graduation from Loyola.

Read Dwayne's story >>

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Honorees

The Milch Award
York Road Partnership

The Newman Medal
The Reverend James F. Salmon, S.J., Ph.D.

The Carroll Medal
John R. Cochran III, ’73
Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa ’07

The President’s Medal
Joseph S. Keelty, ’43

Honorary Degrees in Recognition of Exemplary Service
Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns
 The Reverend Brian F. Linnane, S.J., Ph.D.