SPOKANE, Wash. – Father Greg Boyle, S.J., a 1977 Gonzaga University alumnus and founder of the nonprofit Homeboy Industries, the nation’s largest gang intervention program, will be the keynote speaker at the undergraduate ceremony at 9:30 a.m., Sunday, May 10 in the Spokane Arena. The ceremony is among Gonzaga’s three 122nd commencement exercises May 9-10.
Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst, a Gonzaga University School of Law alumna (’84), will be the keynote speaker at the Law School commencement, starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 9 at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Author and journalist Blaine Harden, a 1974 Gonzaga alumnus, will deliver the keynote address at the graduate ceremony at noon, Saturday, May 9 in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
The University expects to confer a total of 2,152 undergraduate, graduate and law degrees (2,280 in May 2014), including: 1,207 bachelor’s degrees (1,159 in 2014), 791 master’s degrees (948 in 2014), 33 doctorates (11 in 2014), and 121 law degrees (162 in 2014). Justice Fairhurst, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1979 from Gonzaga before earning her law degree, also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Gonzaga in 2006.
Also at the Law commencement, University of Denver Sturm College of Law Professor Jeffrey Hartje and Gonzaga Law Professor Emeritus Mark Wilson will jointly receive the Gonzaga Law Medal to recognize their co-founding of the clinical program at Gonzaga Law School in 1974. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the program known as the Clinic.
Wilson taught for 34 years at Gonzaga Law School after providing legal aid and services in Minnesota and Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1960 from the University of South Dakota and a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1967. Hartje earned a bachelor’s degree in 1964 and law degree in 1967 from University of Minnesota.
Fr. Boyle’s book, “Tattoos on the Heart: the Power of Boundless Compassion,” was assigned to this year’s seniors when they were freshmen in fall 2010. Fr. Boyle and women from Homeboy Industries came to campus that fall as well. Boyle, who will receive the DeSmet Medal, has inspired the Gonzaga community with several visits, accompanied by people for whom Homeboy Industries has been providing opportunity for a new life for more than 25 years.
Since 2007, the Dolores Mission Parish in the Boyle Heights area of East Los Angeles has hosted a spring break immersion program where approximately 175 Gonzaga students have worked in the homeless shelter and to support other Parish programs. Boyle earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Gonzaga, a master’s in English from Loyola Marymount University, a master of divinity from the Weston School of Theology, and a master’s of sacred theology from the Jesuit School of Theology. Gonzaga honored Boyle in 2002 with an honorary Doctor of Laws.
Harden has authored four books including his most recent “The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot” (Viking, 2015), about the rise of North Korea’s founding dictator and the defection to America of a young North Korean pilot. His journalism career includes various roles at The Washington Post, The New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, The Economist, Foreign Policy, and PBS Frontline. After earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Gonzaga, Harden earned a master’s in journalism (1976) from Syracuse University. Gonzaga will honor Harden with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.
Other Gonzaga Commencement Events
- SOCIAL JUSTICE MISSIONING CEREMONY: 4 p.m., May 8, in University Chapel (third floor of College Hall). This event honors seniors who are embarking on service work.
- ROTC COMMISSIONING CEREMONY: 5 p.m., May 8, St. Aloysius Church; guests welcome.
- SCHOOL OF LAW COMMENCEMENT MASS: 5:30 p.m., May 8, University Chapel.
- UNDERGRADUATE, GRADUATE COMMENCEMENT MASS: 4 p.m., May 9, McCarthey Athletic Center (all faiths are welcome).
- NURSING PINNING CEREMONY: 10 a.m., May 9, St. Aloysius Church; ceremony welcomes newly graduated nurses into their profession.
For more information, visit Gonzaga’s Commencement Weekend.