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Creighton to graduate more than 1,700 at May 14 commencement

Nearly 1,900 graduates will cross the stage Saturday, May 14 to receive diplomas as the Creighton University Class of 2016.More than 1,700 graduates will cross the stage Saturday, May 14 to receive diplomas as the Creighton University Class of 2016.

Commencement exercises for the School of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Dentistry and School of Pharmacy and Health Professions will take place at 9:30 a.m., followed by ceremonies for College of Arts and Sciences, Heider College of Business, the College of Professional Studies, Emergency Medical Services, the School of Law and the Graduate School, at 1 p.m. All ceremonies will be observed at the CenturyLink Center Omaha.

The Baccalaureate Mass will be held Friday, May 13 at 1 p.m., in the Kiewit Fitness Center on the Creighton campus.

The Rev. James Martin, S.J., an internationally recognized Jesuit priest and author, will address the Class of 2016 at the afternoon ceremony, May 14. Fr. Martin has written or edited more than a dozen books, served in a consulting role for an off-Broadway theater group and regularly appeared on Comedy Central’s news satire program “The Colbert Report,” discussing issues pertinent to Catholicism in society. For more information on Fr. Martin, click here.

Posthumous degrees will also be presented to the families of Yoselin “Yo Yo” Deleon, Jennifer Guzman and Akuel Majouk, all juniors in the Heider College of Business, who were killed in an Oct. 24, 2015 automobile accident.

Creighton will also honor two alumni and a faculty member during commencement.

Alumnus John P. “Jack” Wareham, BSPHA’64, will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Pharmacy degree during the morning exercises. Wareham, along with his wife Lois, instituted the Jack and Lois Wareham Research Award, supporting young and upcoming researchers in the fields of pharmaceutical science and clinical translational research in pharmacy. Following his Creighton graduation, Wareham began his professional career working as a pharmacist in his family’s business. He later earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Washington University and joined the SmithKline Corporation, rising to executive positions. In 1988, Wareham joined Beckman Inc., eventually becoming president and CEO. He retired from the profession in 2005. He is a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit honor society and earned the 1997 Creighton University Alumni Achievement Citation for service to the community.

George F. Haddix, Ph.D., M.A.’66, receives the 2016 Alumni Achievement Citation. After earning a master’s degree in mathematics at Creighton in 1966, he went on to complete his doctorate at Iowa State University and begin work as a civilian mathematician for the U.S. Air Force and Army Corps of Engineers. He also taught mathematics at Creighton before transitioning to a career in business, ultimately retiring as chairman and CEO of PKWARE, Inc., in 2009. In 2011, Haddix was inducted into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame. With his late wife, Sally Hansen Haddix, Haddix inaugurated and funds the Dr. John Mordeson Chair in Mathematics at Creighton and also helped to create the University’s Center for Fuzzy Mathematics and Computer Science. A faculty research fund was also named in his honor.

The 2016 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement will be presented to Kenneth Melilli, J.D., professor in the Creighton University School of Law. Melilli’s Creighton career began in 2000, after a tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C. He has also served as an attorney in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and as a professor of law at the Albany School of Law. At Creighton, Melilli is known for his ability to break down highly complex aspects of the law, for a comprehensive knowledge of intricate case law, a capacious intelligence and a flair for infusing a little humor and fun into legal education. The Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement is sponsored by the Creighton Students Union and is selected annually from among nominees out of each of Creighton’s nine schools and colleges.

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