May 02, 2022

Dear Members of the University Community,

A little over two years ago I wrote to the Catholic University community with the news that we couldn’t celebrate commencement on campus and in person due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was heartbreaking for the Class of 2020, who had to wait almost another year and a half for their on-campus graduation ceremony.

I said at the time that I had full confidence we would make our way back together again, and I am happy to announce that for the first time since 2019 graduation will take place in person and on our campus. Catholic University will honor the Class of 2022 at the University’s 133rd graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 14. 

I am pleased to announce that Father Thomas Joseph White, O.P., is this year’s commencement speaker. Father White currently serves as rector of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He is the first American to hold the position. An internationally known theologian, Father White became a Catholic in college. In 2003 he completed his master’s and doctorate in theology at Oxford University, and was ordained a priest in 2008 in Washington, D.C. In addition to his academic talents, Father White is a gifted banjo player and a founding member of The Hillbilly Thomists.

Honorary degrees will also be presented to Professor John Cavadini, director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame; Most Reverend Borys Gudziak, metropolitan-archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia; in absentia to Jimmy Lai, media executive and Chinese human rights advocate, currently incarcerated in Hong Kong; Mother Mary Assumpta Long, O.P., co-founder of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist; and William Mumma, CEO and board chairman of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Phi Beta Kappa, Honors Convocation, Nursing Pinning, and the Baccalaureate Mass will all take place on May 12 and 13. The Columbus School of Law will hold its commencement ceremony on Friday, May 20.  The Honorable Barbara J. Lagoa will be its commencement speaker.

I want to express my appreciation to all of those working to make this year’s ceremony a success. To our graduates, congratulations. You are in a class all your own. Your experience, marked by the historic events of the past two years, will help shape your contributions to the Church, our nation, and your communities.


John Garvey