Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 71st Graduating Class Prepares for Commencement Ceremonies | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 71st Graduating Class Prepares for Commencement Ceremonies

    Most Rev. George V. Murry, SJ, Curtis Martin ’93 to Receive Honorary Degrees

    Most Rev. George V. Murry, bishop of Youngstown, and Curtis Martin '93, founder of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS)

    April 04, 2019

    STEUBENVILLE, OHIO—Franciscan University of Steubenville will hold its 71st commencement exercises May 10-11, 2019. More than 650 students are registered to graduate.

    Events begin Friday, May 10, at 6:00 p.m. with the Baccalaureate Mass, followed by the Science Commencement on Saturday, May 11, 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, Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, will preside and receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his contributions to Catholic education and for his efforts as an African-American prelate to combat racism and social injustice.

    Bishop Murry was ordained a priest in 1979 for the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. Pope John Paul II appointed him auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1995, where Bishop Murry served until being appointed bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands in 1998. He has served as the shepherd of the Diocese of Youngstown since 2007.

    Bishop Murry has served on several national boards and committees, including as chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education and chair of the USCCB Committee Against Racism.

    Prior to his appointment as a bishop, he spent more than 20 years in Catholic education, including as professor of American studies at Georgetown University and associate vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Detroit Mercy.

    Curtis Martin, a 1993 graduate of Franciscan University with a master’s in theology, will deliver the commencement address at both the science and arts ceremonies. He will receive an honorary doctorate in Christian letters for his evangelistic outreach efforts to tens of thousands of college students throughout the United States.

    Martin is the founder and CEO of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), one of the fastest-growing college apostolates in the Catholic Church. Since its founding in 1998 with just two missionaries on one campus, FOCUS has grown under Martin’s direction to include hundreds of full-time missionaries serving college students around the country.

    In 2004, Martin and his wife, Michaelann, received the Benemerenti Medal from Pope St. John Paul II for their outstanding service to the Church. Martin was appointed as a consultor to the Pontifical Council of the New Evangelization by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has praised Martin’s work, saying, “No one does a more dynamic job of reaching college students for Christ than FOCUS.”

    Among this year’s graduates are the first four students to receive Franciscan’s Associate of Science in Natural and Applied Science degree, a precursor to receiving a bachelor of science degree in engineering from a Franciscan partner university. Over 20 students are currently enrolled in Franciscan’s engineering program.

    This year’s top 10 home states for the Class of 2019 are Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Virginia, New York, Illinois, West Virginia, Michigan, and Maryland. The Class of 2019’s top 10 majors are theology, nursing, education, catechetics, psychology, communication arts, mathematical science, philosophy, English, and biology.

    Franciscan University President Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, will confer the degrees, and Father Malachi Van Tassell, 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 here.

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