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NU commencements highlighted by U.S. ambassador, Pulitzer winner

by jmaloni

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Fri, May 8th 2015 05:50 pm

Niagara University's 2015 slate of commencement ceremonies will be highlighted by addresses from the U.S. ambassador to Canada, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, the U.S. State Department reporter for CBS News and two highly decorated Catholic priests.

Niagara University will hold three commencement events - two for undergraduates - as well as a special liturgy and ROTC commissioning, all of which will take place on the upper level of the Gallagher Center.

Approximately 1,015 academic degrees are expected to be awarded.

Admission will be granted to ticketed guests only.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Bruce Heyman, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada since March 2014. Prior to his appointment, Heyman served for more than 30 years as an investment banker in the Chicago offices of Goldman Sachs, rising from an associate in 1980 to regional manager of the firm's Midwest private wealth management group, covering 13 states and the western half of Canada. Heyman will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from NU.

On Friday, May 15, a commencement liturgy will take place in the upper level of the Gallagher Center at 4 p.m. The day concludes with a senior class gala at 5 p.m. and the ROTC commissioning at 7 p.m.

David Leonhardt, the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and managing editor of The Upshot, will deliver the commencement address to Niagara's colleges of Business Administration and Hospitality and Tourism Management at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16. Leonhardt previously served as Washington bureau chief for The Times, as well as an economics columnist. He is the author of the e-book, "Here's the Deal: How Washington Can Solve the Deficit and Spur Growth," and widely considered one of the ablest practitioners of "new journalism." Leonhardt and Monsignor James N. Connelly, a 1945 Niagara graduate and pastor emeritus at St. Pius X Church in Getzville, will receive honorary degrees.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, May 16, Niagara's colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education will hear from Margaret Brennan, a CBS News correspondent assigned primarily to report on the diplomatic initiatives of the U.S. Department of State. She is = a substitute anchor on the network's "This Morning" show. Brennan has traveled worldwide with former state secretaries John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, and former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. She also reports independently from some of the world's most troubled areas, particularly the Middle East. The Rev. Bernard M. Tracey, C.M., the executive vice president for mission at St. John's University (and former director of campus ministry at NU), will join Brennan in receiving honorary doctorates.

For more information on Niagara University's 2015 commencement ceremonies, visit www.niagara.edu/commencement.

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