St. John’s Celebrates 18th Commencement at Rome, Italy, Campus

Monday, June 9, 2014

Inviting them to use their education to lead in a challenging global environment, Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., S.T.D., president of St. John’s University, congratulated the newest graduates of the Rome, Italy, campus at Commencement Exercises on Sunday, June 8. The University conferred a total of 47 degrees here this academic year.

Fr. Levesque noted that the group before him was a diverse body of talented men and women who have taken advantage of St. John’s graduate programs in Rome  to broaden their knowledge, advance their professional lives, and enrich their understanding of global issues, especially those affecting people most in need.

“All of you are now prepared for leadership roles in challenging global times in which your knowledge, talents, and ethics will be valued in the boardroom, the classroom, or in the not-for-profit sector,” Fr. Levesque said. “One person can make a difference. Each of you will have that opportunity. Use your knowledge wisely and always with compassion.”

Student addresses were delivered by Christopher Derige Malano ’14G and Elizabeth D. Knight ’14MBA. “We will work to build peace and struggle for justice remembering that rights are always accompanied by responsibilities,” Malano said. “While at St. John’s we have been empowered with knowledge, tools, resources, and networks; it is our responsibility now to be active and participatory members of our communities, be they local or global.”

An honorary degree of Doctor of Commercial Science was conferred upon Leszek Balcerowicz, Ph.D. ’74MBA, professor of economics in the Department of International Comparative Studies, Warsaw School of Economics. Balcerowicz is the former deputy prime minister and finance minister of Poland and the former president of the National Bank of Poland. The President’s Medal was presented to Rev. G. Gregory Gay III, C.M. ’05HON, superior general of the Congregation of the Mission.

Robert A. Mangione, Ed.D., R.Ph., provost, spoke on behalf of the University community when he acknowledged Fr. Levesque, who will be retiring this summer.  “When he began his tenure, Fr. Levesque told us his style was that of servant-leader, and it is. He told us to think of him as Joseph, our brother. And we do.”  

The Rome graduates now join an alumni network of 170,000 strong whose presence in the United States and around the world lends support and provides opportunities. “Remember that St. John’s will always be your home,” Fr. Levesque said. “We rejoice in this milestone in your lives. We share your happiness and applaud your achievements. We know you will be wonderful representatives of this great University.”