Humanitarian and Journalist to Deliver St. John's Commencement Addresses at Queens and Staten Island Campuses

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Reflecting St. John’s Catholic and Vincentian heritage, Hugh Evans, chief executive officer, Global Poverty Project, and David Ushery, news anchor at WNBC-TV, will deliver the University’s 144th Commencement Addresses at the Queens and Staten Island campuses, respectively.

Evans, an Australian humanitarian, is known for his efforts to eradicate poverty and has partnered with influential world leaders, national and international celebrities, and leading business professionals to spread his message of hope. Ushery is a respected broadcast journalist and newscaster whose ties to several New York City religious organizations affirm his strong Roman Catholic faith. He regularly volunteers at diocesan events throughout the metropolitan area. 

“Hugh Evans and David Ushery exemplify our Catholic and Vincentian values, while aspiring to our beliefs of service and mission to the poor,” said Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., S.T.D., president of St. John’s University. “They are true role models who give their time and efforts to worthwhile charitable organizations here in the US and around the world. The Class of 2014 will hear meaningful messages from these two dynamic individuals, whom we hold in the highest regard for their unending commitment to those in need.”

Evans co-founded the Oaktree Foundation, an Australian organization that provides aid to countries in need across the Asia Pacific and African regions. He also served as a leader in the Australian Make Poverty History campaign. Evans completed a Master's in International Relations at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Ushery is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 2013 “Excellence in Journalism” award from the Public Relations Society of America;  the 2012 Emmy Award for Special Programming: The Dead Sea Scrolls; and the 2011 McDonald’s Black Media Legends: Faces of Black History Award.

Ushery will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the Staten Island ceremony on Saturday, May 17. Evans will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Queens campus ceremony on Sunday, May 18. Both degrees will be conferred by Fr. Levesque.