Catholic Leaders to Highlight Franciscan 2017 Commencement| Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Bishop of Pittsburgh, Catholic Leaders to Highlight Franciscan University Class of 2017 Commencement Ceremonies

    Graduating class will be the first to have spent entire time at Franciscan under the shepherding of Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR.

    Above, from left to right: Bishop David A. Zubik, Patrick Lencioni, Dr. Ryan T. Anderson

    March 23, 2017

    STEUBENVILLE, OHIO—More than 620 students will graduate from Franciscan University of Steubenville during commencement exercises over May 12-13, 2017, becoming the 69th graduating class of Franciscan students and the first class to graduate having attended Franciscan during the entire tenure of University president Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR.

    This marks the second year in which two separate commencement ceremonies will be held. The undergraduate and graduate science degree ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 13, at 9:00 a.m., followed by the undergraduate and graduate arts ceremony at 1:00 p.m. Both events will take place in Finnegan Fieldhouse.

    The celebration will begin on Friday, May 12, with the 6:00 p.m. Baccalaureate Mass, also in Finnegan Fieldhouse. Bishop David A. Zubik will preside and receive an honorary doctorate of Christian ethics for his courage and fidelity as the shepherd of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Named the 12th bishop of Pittsburgh on July 18, 2007, by Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Zubik currently serves on a number of USCCB committees, including the Divine Worship Committee, the Domestic Justice and Human Development Committee, and the Protection of Children and Young People Committee. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland, and on the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., among other organizations.

    Patrick Lencioni will give the address at the Saturday science commencement ceremony and receive an honorary doctorate of business science in recognition of his contribution to the formation of leaders and organizational best practices worldwide, as well as his zeal for the Catholic faith.

    Lencioni is founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to providing organizations with ideas, products, and services that improve teamwork, clarity, and employee engagement. He is the author of several best-selling business books with over five million copies sold.

    In addition to his work in business, he dedicates much of his focus to working for the Church through various Catholic organizations, including The Amazing Parish, an apostolate he co-founded in 2013 with the mission to help parishes transform from maintenance to missionary communities. He just released The Better Pastor, his first faith-based book for Catholic priests.

    Dr. Ryan T. Anderson will speak at the arts commencement ceremony at 1:00 p.m., receiving an honorary doctorate of humanities for his persuasive defense of Catholic values in the public square as well as his role as a religious freedom expert.

    Anderson is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and the founder and editor of Public Discourse, an online journal of the Witherspoon Institute that seeks to enhance the public understanding of the moral foundations of free societies.

    He is the author of several books, including Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom and the upcoming Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination, co-authored with Sherif Girgis and John Corvino. Anderson has appeared on ABC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox News and published articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, and National Review, among others. Currently, he is working on a book titled When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment.

    This year’s top 10 home states for the Class of 2017 include Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Virginia, New York, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, and Indiana. The Class of 2017’s top 10 majors are theology, nursing, education, catechetics, psychology, management, communication arts, philosophy, social work, and English.

    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 live-streamed at

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