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NBC Political Analyst Tim Russert to Deliver Creighton Commencement Address

NBC Political Analyst Tim Russert to Deliver Creighton Commencement Address

NBC political analyst Tim Russert will give the commencement address during Creighton University’s morning commencement on Saturday, May 13, at the Omaha Civic Auditorium. Commencement will be divided in two ceremonies, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Creighton President the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J, will preside at the ceremony.

During this year’s ceremony, more than 1,200 students will receive degrees. Graduates representing the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, University College, School of Law and the Graduate School will participate in the morning ceremony. The afternoon ceremony at 1 p.m. includes graduates of the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health Professions, Dentistry and Nursing.

In addition to awarding degrees, the University also will recognize the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to education, community, business and health. Creighton will present three students with its “Spirit of Creighton Award.”

Creighton will present an Honorary Doctor of Law to political analyst and host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Tim Russert. Russert, whose face has been seen on many household televisions, is a graduate of a Jesuit high school and grew up in an Irish American Catholic family in Buffalo, N.Y. He graduated from John Carroll University and attended law school at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Before he became political analyst for NBC, he served as a counselor in the New York governor’s office and as chief of staff to a Democratic senator.

Russert is the managing editor and moderator of Meet the Press and political analyst for NBC's Nightly News and the Today Program. He anchors The Tim Russert Show, a weekly interview program on CNBC and is a contributing anchor for MSNBC. Russert also serves as senior vice president and Washington bureau chief of NBC News.

Recently, Russert wrote a bestselling biography, Big Russ and Me, discussing his life growing up, words of wisdom from his father, high school education at Canisius High School and the importance of maintaining family values.

During the morning ceremony, Creighton will present an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to the founder and chairperson of Radio One, Inc., Catherine Hughes. Hughes is an Omaha native, and in 1995 she became the first woman owner of a No. 1-ranked major market radio station. In 2006, Black Enterprise Magazine named her one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in business.

Receiving an honorary Doctor of Music will be the St. Louis Jesuits. The St. Louis Jesuits are considered the fathers of contemporary American liturgical music. The group is composed of Roc O’Connor, S.J., Bob Dufford, S.J., John Foley, S.J. and Dan Schutte. The group arose in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, which encouraged church songs to be sung in English and accompanied by popular instruments.

Mercy High School in Omaha will receive Creighton’s Presidential Medallion, which recognizes individuals and organizations that have displayed excellence in academic discipline; distinguished local civic, cultural or volunteer service; and commitment to the educational and community ideals espoused by Creighton University’s Mission Statement.

Mercy High School was established in 1956 and is a Catholic educational community sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and rooted in the conviction that education is a process of leading human beings to use their academic and creative talents to contribute to a more just, loving and hopeful world. Mercy High School ministers to young women as they learn to express their faithfulness to the ideals of Jesus through faith, knowledge and compassionate service.

During the afternoon ceremony, Creighton will present its highest alumni award, the Alumni Achievement Citation, to Robert Pascotto, M.D. Pascotto, a 1966 School of Medicine graduate, is considered one of the best thoracic and cardiovascular surgeons in the United States. One of his biggest accomplishments and humanitarian acts was founding the “Heart to Heart Mission” in 2002 in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The mission makes three medical mission trips annually where his team performs free heart surgeries. Creighton will also present an honorary Doctor of Science degree to nationally recognized nurse and bioethicist Mila Ann Aroskar, R.N., Ed.D.

Four other award winners will be announced during the commencement ceremony. Jeffrey Hause, Ph.D., will receive the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Student Award for Teaching Achievement from the Creighton Students Union. Three graduating students will be honored with the Spirit of Creighton Award, two during the morning session and one in the afternoon.

In addition, on Friday, May 12, Creighton will present Alumni Merit Awards in the College of Arts and Sciences to Mary Tapling Manning, BA'72; in the Graduate School to Edward Keenan, Ph.D., BS'70, MS'72; and in the College of Business to Lynn Brinker, BSBA'58. The School of Nursing presented its Alumni Merit Award to Anita Mejstrik Becky, SCN'53, on Thursday, May 4.

Both commencement ceremonies and Friday’s hooding ceremony for the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions will be broadcast live online at: 

According to the following schedule:

School of Pharmacy and Health Professions Hooding

*8:30 p.m. – Friday, May 12

Creighton Commencement (morning schedule)
9:30 a.m.– Saturday, May 13
From the Omaha Civic Auditorium Arena
The live event begins at 9:15 a.m.

Creighton Commencement (afternoon schedule)
1 p.m. – Saturday , May 13
From the Omaha Civic Auditorium Arena
The live event begins at 12:45 p.m.

(* – All times are Central)

Posted: 5/8/06

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.