USD Holds Graduation Ceremonies over Memorial Day Weekend

Hall of Fame Football Player, Now Supreme Court Justice to Speak to Law Grads

Peace & Justice Grads to Study Refugee Camp in Africa “Lost Boy” from Sudan to Graduate from USD

Record Number of 12 USD Students to Teach for America in New Orleans & Other Cities

29 New Navy & Marine Officers to Graduate

Saturday, May 26

Law School, 9 a.m. (Speaker: Alan Page, MN Supreme Court Justice)

Master’s & Doctoral, 1 p.m. (Qualcomm Co-Founder Irwin Jacobs)

Sunday, May 27

College of Arts and Sciences, 9 a.m. (Human rights activist John Prendergast)

School of Business Administration, 2 p.m. (J.D. Power Executive Jamey Power)

All graduation ceremonies in the Jenny Craig Pavilion

More than 2,200 new University of San Diego graduates in law, business, nursing, education and other fields will receive their degrees in four ceremonies Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27

Alan C. Page, former Minnesota Vikings football player and current Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, is the speaker for the law school graduation Saturday, May 26. The ceremony begins at 9 a.m. in the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Hundreds of the graduates are San Diego residents whose family and friends will join them for the celebration. Many are the first in their family to receive a college degree.

Graduates include Daniel James, one of the thousands of “Lost Boys” who was forced to flee his home in the Sudan and trek hundreds of miles in the wilderness because of the brutal civil war there. He arrived in the United States in 2001 and just six years later has earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and theology. He plans to attend graduate school to become a professor.

A full schedule and ideas for graduation features and interviews follows. Media parking is available in the parking lot next to the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

USD School of Law Graduation

Saturday, May 26

9 a.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion

375 graduates

Speaker: Alan C. Page, Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and member of the NFL Hall of Fame. A member of the defensive line known as the “Purple People Eaters” in the 1970s, he played football while attending law school. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1988 and was first elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992.

Possible graduate interviews: Sarah Speed is a driving force behind a bill in the California Legislature extending the scope of domestic violence protective orders to include the animals in the home. Animals often become the target of violence in these situations.

Kirsten Widner has won a prestigious two-year fellowship at Emory University in Georgia to work on issues of child neglect and abuse.

While attending law school, grad Will Morrison played in a band and also put together an independent record label because, as he puts it, “to operate a record label you need a lawyer.”

USD Master and Doctoral Graduation

(College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business Administration and Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science)

Saturday, May 26

1 p.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion

630 master’s and doctoral degrees

Speaker: Irwin Jacobs, co-founder and chairman of the Board of Directors of Qualcomm Inc. Civic and business leader.

Possible graduate interviews: Yusuf Gawany and eight other graduates from USD’s master’s program in Peace & Justice Studies will test what they have learned at a refugee camp in Tanzania this summer. They will use the trip to acquire practical experience in refugee protection, health services and conflict resolution.

Two nurse practitioner graduates, Lani Yeh-Hauer and Beth Aceituno are committed to serving the Latino communities. Yeh-Hauer is considering several job offers while Aceituno is joining the National Health Service Corps to work in a clinic in Salinas.

USD College of Arts & Sciences Graduation

Sunday, May 27

9 a.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion

630 bachelor’s degrees

Speaker: John Prendergast, senior adviser, International Crisis Group. A former Clinton White House official, he is a major force in trying to end the genocide in Sudan. He has been featured on “60 Minutes” and other national media and just wrote a book, “Not on Our Watch” with actor Don Cheadle arguing for stronger action by the U.S. government and public.

Possible graduate interviews: Daniel James, one of the “Lost Boys” of Sudan will receive bachelor’s degrees in theology and mathematics.

Twelve USD graduates, a record number, were accepted into the highly selective “Teach for America” program that serves low-income communities across the country. Natalie Zanzucchi will be teaching high-school English in New Orleans and looks forward to being part of the “healing process” there.

Stephanie Sioridia, the first in her family to receive a four-year degree, attended USD on a full scholarship from the Gates Millennium Scholarship Fund. She will teach pre-school in her hometown of Los Angeles.

Valedictorian Alex “Sasha” Neuwelt has a 4.0 grade point average in chemistry. A Fulbright Scholar, he will be researching cancer treatments in Poland this fall.

USD School of Business Administration, Engineering and Diversified Liberal Arts Graduation

Sunday, May 27

2 p.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion

500 bachelor’s degrees

Speaker: Jamey Power, executive vice president and head of international operations, J.D. Power and Associates. He also graduated from USD in 1985.

Possible graduate interviews: Valedictorian Kathryn Agostinelli is graduating summa cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in both history and accounting. She was a writing tutor and plans to attend law school this fall.

Twenty-nine newly commissioned Navy and Marine officers will receive degrees.

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls some 7,500 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The establishment of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies will bring the University’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Leadership and Education Sciences, Law and Nursing and Health Sciences.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.