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Creighton Awards More Than 1,600 Degrees at Commencement

Creighton University conferred more than 1,600 degrees during two commencement ceremonies on May 17 at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

The morning ceremony honored graduates of Creighton's health sciences schools, including dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy and health professions.

Lasting Hope Recovery Center received the Presidential,Medallion during the morning ceremony.  Lasting Hope is a residential and treatment facility for those with behavioral health problems. The center provides an integrated team of experts who create a road to recovery for those with mental illnesses by instilling within them hope, a sense of possibility and the tools to rebuild a positive self-image. One in four families in Nebraska is affected by mental health issues.

The Creighton Students Union Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement was presented in the morning ceremony to Thomas E. Pisarri, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical science in the School of Medicine. A faculty member since 1993, he has taught more than 20 courses in physiology and has served on more than 40 University committees and task forces. According to student nominators, Pisarri inspires them to do more than just read a textbook or listen to a lecture—but to also apply learning and critical thinking in and out of the classroom.

The afternoon ceremony recognized graduates of Creighton's School of Law, Graduate School and undergraduate colleges.

William A. Fitzgerald, BSBA’59, Omaha businessman and chair emeritus of the Creighton University Board of Trustees, was honored in the afternoon ceremony with the 2014 Alumni Achievement Citation, the highest award given to an alumnus or alumna. Fitzgerald was recognized for the significant impact he has had on Creighton in his 41 years as a board member and 53 years as an alumnus.

University President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., presided at both ceremonies.

An overview by the numbers of this year's graduates. Click to zoom.

 

 

Awards and Honors

Creighton University presented Lasting Hope Recovery Center with the Presidential Medallion during the 2014 cermemonies.. Vice President of Behavioral Sciences , Sheree L. Keely pictured with Fr. Lannon, received the honor on behalf of the center. 

 

 

Alumni Achievement Citation

William A. Fitzgerald, BSBA’59, Omaha businessman and chair emeritus of the Creighton University Board of Trustees, was honored in the afternoon ceremony with the 2014 Alumni Achievement Citation, the highest award given to an alumnus or alumna. Fitzgerald was recognized for the significant impact he has had on Creighton in his 41 years as a board member and 53 years as an alumnus.

Fitzgerald began his career at Commercial Federal Bank in 1952 while still a student at Creighton, retiring as chairman and chief executive officer in 2005. He was inducted into both the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame and the Omaha Business Hall of Fame. Elected to the Creighton University Board of Directors in 1973, he served as chair for 12 years, serving on nearly every committee, including the Academic Affairs and Health Affairs Committees. He earned a business degree from Creighton in 1959.

Fitzgerald and his wife, Barb, are longtime philanthropic supporters of the University, contributing to scholarships, campus expansion, student life and athletics. Fitzgerald also has lent his considerable talents to more than 28 educational, civic, philanthropic, cultural and religious boards throughout the Omaha community including United Way of the Midlands, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and Knights of Aksarben.

The Fitzgeralds received the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus Ignatian Leadership Award from the Jesuit Council of Omaha and Mr. Fitzgerald also received the National Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award.

 

 

Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement

The Creighton Students Union Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement will be presented in the morning ceremony to Thomas E. Pisarri, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical science in the School of Medicine. A faculty member since 1993, he has taught more than 20 courses in physiology and has served on more than 40 University committees and task forces. According to student nominators, Pisarri inspires them to do more than just read a textbook or listen to a lecture—but to also apply learning and critical thinking in and out of the classroom. 

Pisarri has served as a member of the editorial boards for the Medical Science Educator and Journal of Applied Physiology and Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, and has reviewed submissions for nearly a dozen other academic journals. He is an active researcher, collaborating with clinicians and others in the community while mentoring students.

Spirit of Creighton Award

Creighton University College of Arts and Sciences and Heider College of Business graduate Hunter Allen, Dallas, Texas; Heider College of Business graduate Doug McDermott, Omaha, Neb.; and College of Nursing graduate Sarah Seifert, White Bear Lake, Minn., received the prestigious Spirit of Creighton Award at the University’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 17. Read more.