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Creighton Awards 1,500 Degrees at May Commencement

2012 Spring Commencement

John P. Curtin, MD'79 received the Alumni Achievement Citation.

Ivan Gilreath, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands received the Presidential Medallion in   recognition of the clubs' 50th anniversary.  

CNN news anchor Suzanne Malveaux received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

John Koraleski, CEO of Union Pacific received the Presidential Medallion in recognition of the company's 150th anniversary.


Pharmacy student Edward Saito and Nursing student Melissa List received the Spirit of Creighton Award.


Modern Languages assistant professor Ryan Spangler received the Creighton Students Union Robert F. Kennedy Award.









Creighton Awards 1,500 Degrees at May Commencement

About 1,500 degrees were conferred during Creighton University’s morning and afternoon commencement exercises on Saturday May 12, at CenturyLink Center Omaha. CNN news anchor and former White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux spoke at the afternoon ceremony where degrees were awarded to graduates of Creighton’s undergraduate schools, School of Law and Graduate School. A ceremony for Health Sciences professional schools, including the schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy and Health Professions was held in the morning.

Malveaux has covered many significant and far-reaching topics and events, interviewing U.S. officials at the highest levels, including several U.S. presidents. Her coverage of presidential trips overseas has taken her to Europe, the Balkans, Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, Latin America and the Middle East.

University President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., presided at both ceremonies — his first May commencement as Creighton president.

School of Pharmacy and Health Professions graduate Edward Saito of Honolulu, Hawaii, and School of Nursing graduate Melissa List of Granville, Iowa, received the prestigious Spirit of Creighton Award during the commencement ceremonies.  The Spirit of Creighton Award is given annually to graduates who exemplify the best qualities of the University’s founders. Recipients are honored for their initiative, enterprise, academic achievement and outstanding character traits.

Several special awards were presented during this year’s commencement. Presidential Medallions were given to two Omaha-based organizations that have had long-term positive impacts on the local community and beyond: Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary and Union Pacific, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Creighton’s Alumni Achievement Citation – the highest award given to an alumnus – was presented during the morning ceremony to John P. Curtin, M.D., who holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree (1975) and a medical degree (1979) from Creighton.

Curtin, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, surgeon, writer and lecturer of international renown, has promoted high-quality, comprehensive clinical care in the field of gynecologic cancer and surgery. He is director of the Gynecologic Oncology at NYU School of Medicine and served as the 43rd president of Gynecologic Surgeon’s Society, making him the first Creighton graduate to hold this prestigious position.

Ryan Anthony Spangler, Ph.D., assistant professor in Modern Languages, was honored during the afternoon session with the Creighton Students Union Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement. The student-selected award is given annually to honor a Creighton professor who exemplifies the Creighton mission and Jesuit ideals and whose service to Creighton has had a far-reaching impact.