Niagara Announces Speakers for Commencement Weekend
The Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, and Dr. Clayborne Carson, founding director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Institute at Stanford University, will speak at Niagara University commencement exercises May 17 and 18.
Father O’Connell, a graduate of Niagara and a former administrator at the university, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address Sunday, May 18, in Alumni Arena on the State University at Buffalo campus. The ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m.
Dr. Carson, a Buffalo native who holds a dual appointment as professor of history and director of the King Institute at Stanford, will speak at the graduate school’s commencement Saturday, May 17, in the upper level of the Gallagher Center on the NU campus. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m.
In addition to speaking, Father O’Connell will receive an honorary degree at the undergraduate commencement. Dr. Carson will also receive honorary degrees at the graduate ceremonies, as will the Most Rev. Thomas Collins, D.D., archbishop of Toronto.
Father O’Connell was inaugurated as the 14th president of The Catholic University in November of 1998. Prior to that, he was associate vice president and dean at St. John’s University. He served as interim academic vice president at Niagara University during the 1994-95 academic year.
In addition to his work at the King Institute, Carson was also a senior member of the team of scholars and producers which put together the widely acclaimed PBS documentary “Eye on the Prize,” a study of America’s civil rights movement from 1954 to 1985. He has written or edited numerous other works.
A native of Guelph, Ontario, Archbishop Collins was appointed to his current position in December of 2006. As the archbishop of Toronto, he shares a connection to Niagara University’s Vincentian heritage. The Rev. John J. Lynch, C.M., the university’s co-founder and first president, was consecrated bishop of Toronto in 1859. He subsequently became the first archbishop of the archdiocese.