More than 1,600 baccalaureate and advanced degrees were conferred during Loyola University Maryland's 2013 Commencement Exercises on May 18, the 161st commencement in Loyola’s history.
"The uniquely Jesuit approach to your learning, your willingness, perhaps even your eagerness to confront difficult questions with an open mind, with a desire to see debates from multiple and often opposing perspectives, to embody the grace of self-doubt – that's what makes you so ready to lead," said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president of Loyola, in his remarks to graduates. "You are all undoubtedly ready, on a practical level, to face all that lies ahead and to thrive in whichever fields you wish to pursue."
Carolyn Y. Woo, Ph.D., president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, delivered the commencement address and received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. She encouraged the class of 2013 to recognize the importance of maintaining a capacity for others through grace.
"Grace is the essential currency for us to engage each other because we are not just in a transaction, we're a family. We're on this earth together not by chance but by design," said Woo. "We are meant to be in each other's lives, to love each other, and to jointly go on a journey, which is the discovery of God, and we will see glimpses of God in each other."
Woo was recently named one of the "500 Most Powerful People on the Planet" by Foreign Policy magazine. She became CEO and president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, in January 2012. Before CRS, Woo served from 1997 to 2011 as dean of the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. Prior to her time at the University of Notre Dame, Woo served as associate executive vice president for academic affairs at Purdue University.
She attended Purdue University and earned her bachelor's in economics with highest distinction and honors, Master of Science in Industrial Administration with award as Krannert Scholar, and Ph.D. in Strategic Management.
Other honors awarded by Loyola at this year's Commencement Exercises included:
- Carroll Medal (recognizing distinguished alumni for noteworthy and meritorious service on the University's behalf): Sally Riley, MSA '68, Mount Saint Agnes College reunion chair and vice president of the MSA alumnae association.
- John Henry Newman Medal (presented to those who have made outstanding contributions to Catholic education): Adrian Dominican Sister Maureen Fay, O.P., Ph.D., University of Detroit Mercy president emerita.
- The Milch Award (recognizing superior contributions and achievement by an organization involved in service): Sandtown Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit Christian housing organization in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of West Baltimore that seeks to rebuild vacant housing.
Additional information about Loyola's 161st Commencement Exercises can be found at www.loyola.edu/commencement.