Commencement Speakers

NOTE: Having a commencement speaker, as we know the ceremony, was not always the custom. Apparently it became the custom at SJU in 1882, 25 years after its 1857 founding.

Year Guest Speaker Student Speakers B.A./B.S. Degrees*
2019 Mark Vande Hei

Luke Olley

398
2018 Denis McDonough

Steven Bezdichek Pfahning

403
2017 Dan Whalen

Ramond Mitchell

438
2016 Joe Cavanaugh

Paul Knakk

394
2015 Dr. Robert H. Dumonceaux

Luke Newgaard

434
2014 Kathleen Blatz, J.D.

Michael Rogers

428
2013 Rev. Dennis Dease

John Loonan

428
2012 Mr. John McCutcheon

Ty Cox

435
2011 Dr. John Grim

Thomas Loonan

476
2010 Rev. Edwin D. Leahy, O.S.B.

Matthew Beck

446
2009 Dr. Sharon Daloz Parks

Joe Kane

447
2008 Mr. William Green

Thomas Connelly

469
2007 Mr. Bob Abernethy

Paul E. Storm

417
2006 Dr. R. Scott Appleby

Samuel Boggs

390
2005 Mr. Charles M. Denny, Jr.

Andrew Dirksen

448
2004 Mr. Thomas Beaudoin

Michael Marschel

511
2003 Mr. Ray Suarez

James Mulrooney

424
2002 The Honorable Mark Kennedy

Charles Berendes

414
2001 Fred de Sam Lazaro

Joseph Tinguely

441
2000 Rev. William J. Byron, S.J.

Kevin Clancy

383
1999 Prof. Michael Perry

Michael Dirksen

408
1998 Dr. Evan Maurer

Lance Bodeen

363
1997 The Honorable Guido Calabresi

Philip Steger

338
1997 (December)   Dr. Charles Bobertz 49
1996 Mr. Steven Rothschild

Anthony Amelse

305
1996 (December)   Ms. Betty Wolterman 56
1995 Mr. Stephen Sommers

Joseph Flock

286
1995 (December)   Mr. David Lyndgaard

59
1994 The Honorable Alan C. Page

Ross Drever

306
1994 (December)   Dr. Joseph Farry

72
1993 Mr. Colman McCarthy

356
1993 (December)   Rev. Timothy Backous, O.S.B.

57
1992 Governor George A. Sinner

Todd Boss

445
1991 Rev. Hilary D. Thimmesh, O.S.B.

Denis McDonough

434
1990 Ambassador Edward J. Perkins

Christopher P. Diffley

405
1989 Mr. William F. Buckley, Jr.

Scott C. LaBarre

413
1988 Mr. Paul D. Schurke

Michael A. Holscher

388
1987 Ms. Carolyn Forche

Michael J. Cronin

424
1986 Rev. David Burrell, C.S.C

Anthony Gabriel Amon

415
1985 Dr. Esther de Waal

Frederick William Stein

441
1984 Mr. Garrison Keillor

Aaron H. Franta

397
1983 Senator David Durenberger

John P. Keane

407 
1982 (audio) Mr. Jon Hassler 

Paul R. Linde

400
1981 Dr. Harlan Cleveland

Robert E. Culligan

411
1980 Dr. Mortimer J. Adler 342
1979 Mr. Thomas F. Roeser
1978 Rev. Hilary D. Thimmesh, O.S.B.
1977 The Honorable Sam Ervin, Jr.
1976 Mr. Russell Baker
1975 Senator Hubert H. Humphrey
1974 Dr. Robert H. Dumonceaux
1973 Prof. Norman James
1972 Rev. John Howard, O.S.B.
1971 Dr. Dana L. Farnsworth, M.D.
1970 Rev. Andrew J. Young
1969 The Right Honorable Lord Caradon
1968 Dr. Eugene C. Blake
1967 Lady Barbara Ward Jackson
1966 Dr. Jaroslav J. Pelikan
1965 Rev. John Courtney Murray, S.J.
1964 Senator Eugene J. McCarthy
1963 The Most Reverend Paul Leonard Hagarty, O.S.B.
1962 Mr. Gerald E. Sherry
1961 Mr. Philip J. Scharper
1960 The Most Reverend Peter W. Bartholome
1959 Mr. John Cogley
1958 Dr. David A. Boyd, Jr., M.D.
1957 The Most Reverend Leo F. Dworschak
1956 The Most Reverend Archbishop John Gregory Murray
1955 Sister Madeleva, C.S.C.
1954 Rev. Philip Hughes

Waldemar Wenner

1953 The Honorable Eugene J. McCarthy

John Dunn

1952 Dr. Helen C. White

Bertran Hartinger

1951 Rev. Hans A. Reinhold

Dale M. Sauve

1950 Dr. Donald J. Cowling

Gerald Scherer

1949 The Most Reverend Francis Schenk

Will Theodore Gimenez

1948 Dr. Patrick A. Crowley

John E. Simonett

1947 Dr. Laurence M. Gould

Heinz B. Arnold

1946 Rev. Wilfred Mallon, S.J.

Robert Hovda 

1945 Rev. J. Timothy Gannon

Philip Wooby 

1944 Prof. James J. Doland

Donald M. Berg

1943 The Honorable Lawrence M. Hall

Edward William Arth

1942 The Most Reverend Peter W. Bartholome

Donald H. Norman

1941 Rev. James H. Moynihan

Bernard W. Lorenz

1940 Dr. Louis J.A. Mercier

Philip D. Raths

1939 The Most Reverend Joseph F. Busch

Charles H. Hinz

1938 Dr. Mortimer J. Adler

Austin M. McCarthy

1937 Dr. Martin Ruud

Emerson Hynes

1936 Dr. Jerome G. Kirwin

Edmund Piotrowski

1935 Mr. John J. Courtney

James C. Coyne

1934 Dr. Richard E. Scammon

Mathias A. Himsl

1933 Dr. William O'Brien, M.D.

John J. Zaic

1932 The Most Reverend Joseph F. Busch

Edward J. Hennessy

1931 Rev. Leo Keaveny

Fred Hughes

1930 Rev. Philip H. Kiley

Aloys V. Himsl

1929 The Most Reverend Joseph F. Busch

Stephen B. Humphrey

1928 Abbot Alcuin Deutsch, O.S.B.

Norvell Callaghan

1927 The Most Reverend Joseph F. Busch
1926 The Most Reverend Joseph F. Busch
1925 Abbot Alcuin Deutsch, O.S.B.
1924 The Honorable James Quigley
1923 James A. Garrity
1922 Charles E. Vasaly
1921 John Willis
1920 Rt. Rev. Joseph Busch, D.D.
1917 Most Rev. John Bonzano, D.D.
1914 Joseph Janovick, 1902
1912 John Willis
1910 Bishop Patrick Heffren, 1878
1909 Rev. George A. Arctander, 1888
1908 Rev. Daniel Lynch, 1886
1906 William Markoe, 1869
1905 John Ahmann, 1877
1904 Rev. L. J. Vaughan
1903 William Markoe, 1869
1898 Bishop Trobec
1895 Bishop Marty
1894 Governor Knute Nelson
1892 Judge D.B. Searle
1891 Hon. Frank E. Searle
1885 Hon. H.C. Waite
1884 J.C. Arctander
1882 Hon. H.C. Waite

*Statistics source: Registrar's Annual Report (total degrees conferred for that academic year)