Commencement Exercises 2018 | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 70th Graduating Class Ready for May 11-12 Commencement Exercises

    Class of 2018 expected to be one of largest ever. 

    Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Dr. Stephen Barr, Jeanette De Melo ’98 to Receive Honorary Degrees. 

    Events to be streamed online at

    STEUBENVILLE, OHIO—Franciscan University of Steubenville will hold its 70th commencement exercises May 11-12, 2018. More than 700 students are registered to graduate, making the Class of 2018 one of the five largest graduating classes in the history of the University. 

    Events begin Friday, May 11, at 6:00 p.m. with the Baccalaureate Mass, followed by the Science Commencement on Saturday, May 12, at 9:00 a.m. and the Arts Commencement that same day at 1:00 p.m. All events take place in Finnegan Fieldhouse. 



    At the Baccalaureate Mass, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz will preside and receive an honorary doctorate of Christian ethics for his courage and fidelity as the shepherd of the Archdiocese of Louisville, for his work as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2013 to 2016, and for his role as chairman for the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty. 

    Archbishop Kurtz was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Allentown in 1972. He was installed as archbishop of Louisville in 2007 after serving as bishop of Knoxville from 1999 to 2007. 

    Archbishop Kurtz has served on numerous boards and committees, including 21 years of service on the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. In November 2017, the bishops of the United States elected Archbishop Kurtz as the chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and in that capacity, he serves on the administrative committee of the USCCB. 

    Dr. Stephen Barr will give the address at the Saturday science commencement ceremony and receive an honorary doctorate of Christian ethics in recognition of his work to promote the relation of science and religion and his service to the Catholic Church. 

    Barr is an author and professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware. He is also the first president of the Society of Catholic Scientists, which he and a group of colleagues founded in 2016, and which has grown to over 700 members. 

    Jeanette De Melo will speak at the arts commencement ceremony and receive an honorary doctorate of communications for continuing the legacy of excellent journalism at the National Catholic Register and fulfilling its mission to inform, inspire, challenge, and equip active Catholics to engage the culture with confidence. 

    De Melo is editor in chief of the National Catholic Register and a 1998 graduate of Franciscan University with a degree in humanities and Catholic culture. She also holds a licentiate degree in Church communications from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. 

    Appointed in 2012 to her current position, De Melo previously served as the Archdiocese of Denver’s communications director, spokeswoman, and general manager of the Denver Catholic Register and the archdiocesan website. 

    In June 1950, the first graduating class of the College of Steubenville was honored with 17 different events held in downtown Steubenville where the school was based at that time. Ceremonies included a solemn Mass at St. Peter’s Catholic Church and commencement at Steubenville High School. 

    Since then, the College has changed its name, moved from downtown Steubenville to its present hilltop location, and become known worldwide for its academically excellent and passionately Catholic learning environment that attracts students from all 50 states and 12 countries. 

    This year’s top 10 home states for the Class of 2018 are Ohio, California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Michigan, New York, Texas, West Virginia, Illinois, and Maryland. The Class of 2018’s top 10 majors are theology, nursing, psychology, management, communication arts, education, philosophy, English, social work, and biology. 

    Franciscan University President Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, will confer the degrees, and Father Richard Davis, TOR, chairman of the Board of Trustees, will preside at both ceremonies along with members of the Board of Trustees and Board of Advisors. 

    For those unable to attend, all ceremonies will be streamed online at

Academically Excellent Passionately Catholic

1235 University Boulevard

Steubenville, Ohio 43952

(740) 283-3771


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