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Notre Dame to confer 3,343 degrees over Commencement Weekend, May 18-19

The University of Notre Dame’s 179th University Commencement Ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 19, in Notre Dame Stadium.

The University of Notre Dame’s 179th University Commencement Ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 19, in Notre Dame Stadium.

University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will be the principal speaker and recipient of an honorary degree. This year’s event will be the final University Commencement Ceremony at which Father Jenkins will preside as he steps down from the presidency at the end of this month after 19 years in the role to return to teaching and ministry at Notre Dame. The University’s Board of Trustees has elected Rev. Robert A. Dowd, C.S.C., as Father Jenkins’ successor.

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, chief executive officer of Feeding America, will receive the 2024 Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics.

Notre Dame will confer four additional honorary degrees on distinguished leaders in business, science, the Catholic Church and the arts at the University Commencement Ceremony: Jack Brennan, the chair emeritus of Vanguard, a Fellow of the University and chair of the University’s Board of Trustees; medicinal chemist Sabine Hadida, senior vice president and San Diego site head at Vertex Pharmaceuticals; Cardinal Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States; and sculptor Jaume Plensa.

Brennan will also be awarded the University’s Hesburgh-Stephan Medal, becoming just the third recipient of the honor. The Hesburgh-Stephan Medal is named in honor of the late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s 15th president, under whose leadership theBoard of Trustees, comprised of both lay members and clerical members from the Congregation of Holy Cross, was established, and Edmund A. Stephan, first chair of the Board. It is given to a Trustee for uncommon and exemplary contributions to the governance and mission of Notre Dame during his or her tenure on the Board. The medal celebrates the dedication of those who serve as Notre Dame Trustees, and the critical role Notre Dame’s Board plays as the governing body of the University.

Isabela Tasende, an economics and political science major with a minor in theology from Panama City, Panama, will deliver the valedictory address, and salutatorian Shaker Erbini, a neuroscience and behavior major with a minor in compassionate care in medicine from Crown Point, Indiana, will offer the invocation.

Weather permitting, graduates will process into the stadium at 9 a.m., and the University Commencement Ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. All guests must have an e-ticket for admission.

On Saturday, 523 students will receive master’s and doctoral degrees at the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony, along with 547 master’s degree students at the Mendoza College of Business ceremony and 201 at the Law School ceremony. The University will confer 2,275 degrees on undergraduate students at Sunday’s ceremony.

The Commencement Mass will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday in Purcell Pavilion, with Cardinal Pierre presiding.

The Commencement Mass, University Commencement Ceremony and all diploma/hooding ceremonies will be livestreamed. A complete schedule of events is available on the Commencement website, and senior stories and other features are here.

Many common items will not be allowed in the stadium during Sunday’s ceremony. Visit the Commencement website for a complete list of prohibited items. In the event of severe weather, ceremonies will be moved indoors to the Joyce Center. Should weather conditions necessitate a move indoors, the University will communicate changes online and via ND Alert messages, social media and local news outlets.

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