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Author, social entrepreneur, and international speaker Chris Lowney named Loyola University Maryland’s 2023 Commencement speaker

Chris Lowney
Chris Lowney

An author and business leader with a deep understanding of Jesuit ideals, Chris Lowney will deliver the address at Loyola University Maryland’s 170th Commencement Exercises. The ceremony will be held Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 11 a.m. at CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Chair of the board of CommonSpirit Health, America’s largest faith-based health system, Lowney is a one-time Jesuit seminarian. After leaving the seminary, he served as a managing director of J.P. Morgan & Co on three continents. 

“We are honored to welcome Chris Lowney as our 2023 Commencement speaker, and we look forward to the inspiring, timely message he will share with our graduating class,” said Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., president of Loyola. “Every year we try to select a speaker who can offer one last, meaningful lesson to our graduating students. With his innovative spirit and passion for Jesuit education, Mr. Lowney will offer the Class of 2023 not just words to carry them forward into their next chapter but also a model of how to be open to the paths you’ll discover in the future.” 

Lowney is the author of six books and has co-authored two more. His bestselling book, Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company that Changed the World, has been translated into 11 languages, and A Vanished World shares the stories of Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Medieval Spain. 

His other books include Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads, Everyone Leads: How to Revitalize the Catholic Church (which won a 2018 Catholic Press Association award), and Make Today Matter: 10 Habits for a Better Life (and World), which won a 2018 Independent Press Award as a “Distinguished Favorite” and a Gold Medal in the 2019 Illumination Awards. 

Lowney writes on leadership and leadership strategy for and on spirituality and leadership for 

A philanthropist and social entrepreneur, Lowney has helped launch an innovative collaboration to offer online university education in refugee camps in Africa and elsewhere; co-founded Contemplative Leaders in Action, an emerging leader formation program now active in a half-dozen cities; and founded Pilgrimage for Our Children’s Future, which supports education and healthcare projects among severely impoverished, marginalized communities. 

Lowney, who was raised in Queens, New York, is well-known as a keynote speaker who has lectured on leadership, business ethics, decision-making and other topics in more than two-dozen countries. 

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Lowney earned a B.A. in History summa cum laude from Fordham University, where he also received his M.A. in Philosophy. He has been awarded nine honorary doctoral degrees. 

Loyola will present Lowney with a doctor of humane letters, honoris causa, during the ceremony.

Also honored at the Commencement Exercises will be:

  • James Forbes, ’80, receiving the President's Medal and a doctor of commercial science, honoris causa
  • Kelly Bryan Rizzo, ’98, receiving the Carroll Medal
  • Curtis J. Wilson, Jr., receiving the Newman Medal (awarded posthumously)
  • Sisters Academy, receiving the Milch Community Partnership Award

For more information about Commencement, visit