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Santa Clara University Announces Commencement Speakers

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services, will deliver the commencement speech for Santa Clara University’s undergraduate class of 2010 on Saturday, June 12, at 8:30 a.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium.

“I’m looking forward to taking part in this very important day for graduating seniors,” Hackett says. “It’s a time when they can reflect on the last four years of their college career and some of the most important lessons they learned from their professors, fellow classmates, and their families.”

Hackett has led CRS since 1993 and oversees operations in more than 100 countries, with a global staff of nearly 5,000. His career with the agency began in Sierra Leone in 1972. He has served CRS in posts throughout Africa and Asia, as well as in a variety of positions at CRS headquarters. He was the regional director for Africa, guiding CRS’ response to the Ethiopian famine of 1984-85. He supervised operations in East Africa during the crisis in Somalia in the early 1990s. Read more.

Under Hackett's leadership, CRS was one of the first responders to the devastating earthquake in Haiti; it provided food for more than 100,000 people in Port-au-Prince and shelter for tens of thousands of Haitians. After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, CRS launched its largest reconstruction effort ever, with $170 million in private donations from U.S. residents. CRS was able to construct 13,000 permanent homes in the hardest hit countries: India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka - homes that can shelter and support future generations.

Graduate Commencement Ceremony

Sakena Yacoobi, an award-winning pioneer who has improved the lives of millions of Afghan women through her Afghan Institute for Learning, will address Santa Clara University’s graduate students at their 2010 commencement ceremony on Friday, June 11. The commencement will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the University’s Leavey Events Center.

In attendance will be nearly 600 students receiving advanced degrees from the School of Engineering, the Leavey School of Business, and the School of Education and Counseling Psychology.

“I am delighted to speak to the graduates of Santa Clara University,” said Yacoobi. “Education has the power to transform, and with their strong foundation and values, SCU graduates can do great things to help others to change their lives.” Read more.

Law School Commencement Ceremony

The holder of the highest judicial post in the Northern Mariana Islands will be the commencement speaker for Santa Clara University School of Law’s Class of 2010. 

Miguel S. Demapan, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), will be the honored speaker at SCU Law’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 22 at 9:30 a.m. in the Mission Gardens.  

In his role as a former Superior Court judge and as the current chief justice, Demapan has presided over and written rulings on key issues for the CNMI, including cases of government bribery and abuse of power. He also recently oversaw an innovative movement to push home-foreclosure cases into mediation, rather than the courts, to help resolve one of the CNMI’s top social crises. Read more.

Jesuit School of Theology Commencement Ceremony

Kerry A. Robinson, director of an influential group of executives promoting excellence in the Catholic Church, will be the commencement speaker at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University on May 22.

As executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, Robinson joins nearly 200 executives from business, academia, philanthropy, government, and the Church to promote excellence and best practices in the management, finances, and human-resource development of the Catholic Church in the U.S.

She will speak to family and friends of three dozen JST graduates receiving advanced degrees from JST on Saturday, May 22, at 3 p.m. in the school’s Gesù Chapel, 1735 LeRoy Ave. in Berkeley. Read more.

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