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His Eminence Peter Kodwo Appiah Cardinal Turkson to Deliver St. John’s University's Commencement Address

Friday, April 7, 2017

St. John’s University has announced that His Eminence Peter Kodwo Appiah Cardinal Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, will serve as the distinguished speaker at the University’s Queens Campus undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21 at 10 a.m.   

“We are humbled and honored that Cardinal Turkson has accepted our invitation to speak to our graduates at this year’s commencement ceremony,” said Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., President of St. John’s University.  “Cardinal Turkson’s tireless work with the sick and homeless around the globe serves as a model for our students to love and respect all individuals and to serve those most in need.  This dedication is at the core of who we are as a Vincentian university, and we are proud to have Cardinal Turkson share his message of social justice and caring for the marginalized with our newest alumni.”  

Cardinal Turkson of Ghana, known internationally as one of the most energetic leaders of the Church, was selected by Pope Francis to serve as Prefect of the recently established Dicastery on Promoting Integral Human Development.  The new department, which took effect on January 1, 2017, takes on the tasks of the Pontifical Councils for Justice and Peace, Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, Healthcare Workers, and Cor Unum – the Papal charity that provides humanitarian assistance and encourages coordination of Catholic charitable works.   

St. John’s will host its Staten Island Campus commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 20 with Lois T. Nicotra ’77NDC, ’83GEd, Chairman/Owner, The Nicotra Group LLC, delivering the commencement address.  In addition, St. John’s will host separate commencement exercises for graduate students earning degrees from six colleges and schools beginning on May 15.  The invited speakers for each of the ceremonies are:

  • Michael Dorato ’71P, ’73GP, ’76Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Smithers Avanza
    College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Graduate Commencement, May 15 at 6 p.m. 
  • Sonia Nieto ’65ED, Professor Emerita, Dept. of Teacher Education and Curriculum, Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    The School of Education Graduate Commencement, May 16 at 6 p.m.
  • William Janetschek, Jr. ’84CBA, Member and Chief Financial Officer, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and member of the Board of Trustees, St. John’s University
    The Peter J. Tobin College of Business Graduate Commencement, May 17 at 6 p.m.
  • Patricia Castel Skarulis ’66C, ’68G, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and member of the Board of Trustees, St. John’s University
    St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Commencement, May 18 at 6 p.m.
  • Frank Bisignano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, First Data Corp.
    College of Professional Studies Graduate Commencement, May 19 at 5 p.m.
  • Hon. Janet DiFiore ’81L, Chief Judge of the State of New York and Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
    School of Law Commencement, June 4, at 12 p.m.
  • Nicola Pedde, Ph.D. ’00G, Director, Institute for Global Studies
    Rome Campus, June 11, at 6 p.m.

For the complete Commencement schedule, click here.