More than 2,260 New USD Changemakers to Graduate in May

Some 2,260 new University of San Diego Changemakers and graduates in business, education, law, liberal arts, nursing and peace studies are receiving their degrees this month.

A total of 1,941 students will graduate over Memorial Day weekend. The Law School graduation took place May 17.

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

“We are proud to honor our graduates, knowing that they have acquired the knowledge, skills and ethics to be leaders and Changemakers in their chosen professions,” said USD President Mary E. Lyons.

This year’s valedictorians are Laura Gruninger for the College of Arts and Sciences and Jonathan Fuller from the School of Business Administration.

Gruninger, who has a 4.0 grade point average, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. She plans to do field work, perhaps in social work or the criminal justice system before pursuing a graduate degree.

Fuller has a 3.99 grade point average and earned bachelor’s degrees in real estate and finance. He plans to pursue a career in commercial real estate and an MBA.

This year’s class of graduates includes 13 newly commissioned Navy and Marine officers.

There are also nine graduates from the McNair Scholars program that prepares low-income, underrepresented and first-generation college students for master’s and PhD programs.

Twenty-seven students have been chosen for Teach for America, the Peace Corps and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Companies that have hired this year’s graduates include Sempra Energy, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Agile Sourcing Partners and Paystik.

This year’s commencement speakers include two USD alumni. Former Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley ’79 (JD) was the speaker for the Law School.

David Rivera ’96, founder of the Nativity Prep Academy, a tuition-free school in southeast San Diego, and the Epiphany Education Foundation to help open other college prep schools in economically distressed areas, is the speaker for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Christopher A. Crane, president and CEO of Edify, a humanitarian organization to that provides loans to Christian schools educating impoverished children in Africa and Latin America, is the speaker for the graduate school commencement.

R. Todd Johnson, a partner with Jones Day who heads the law firm’s Renewable Energy and Sustainability Practice, is the speaker for the Undergraduate School of Business Administration and Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering.

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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.