March 1, 2018

March 1, 2018: commencement speaker, upcoming events and more

Creighton University President, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ

Before students, and many faculty and staff, depart for spring break activities, I want to provide an update on several topics, including an exciting announcement regarding our May commencement speaker, two additional speakers coming to campus this spring, the Markoe scholarship recipients, and additional campus forums regarding our strategic plan. 

I am very pleased to share that Dr. Mae Jemison, who was the first African-American woman in space, has accepted our invitation to speak at both commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 12.  

On Sept. 12, 1992, Dr. Jemison became the first African-American woman in space when the space shuttle Endeavour carried her and six other astronauts on 126 orbits around Earth. A mission specialist, Jemison was a co-investigator of two bone cell research experiments, one of 43 investigations that were done on mission STS-47. Over the course of her voyage, Jemison logged 190 hours, 30 minutes, and 23 seconds in space.

Dr. Jemison attended Stanford University on scholarship at the age of 16. There, she attained her Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in African and African-American studies. She earned her medical degree from Cornell University in 1981. 

Prior to commencement, please remember that we are hosting former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Tuesday, April 3, in the Hixson-Lied Auditorium in the Harper Center. Secretary Hagel’s address is the first of the Presidential Lecture Series that is commemorating Creighton’s 140th anniversary. If you have not already done so, please RSVP for the event. 

Another special guest will also visit on Thursday, March 15. Creighton will be hosting Dr. Koichi Hamada, who serves as special economic advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. Dr. Hamada is a lawyer and an economist with an international reputation, holding academic posts in economics at both Yale University and the University of Tokyo. He is widely recognized as one of the key architects of “Abenomics.”

Dr. Hamada will present a public lecture from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Hixson-Lied Auditorium. His topic, “Assessing Abenomics: Prospects for Growth in a Global Economy,” will address challenges and opportunities in the current economic environment, including prospects for trade affecting Japan and the United States.
As I announced at Convocation last month, 11 students will join the Class of 2022 this fall thanks to a scholarship from the Jesuit community and my office. Each student will receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship as a member of the incoming Markoe Scholars. The Markoe Scholarship, taking its name from beloved Creighton Jesuit and early civil rights activist the Rev. John Markoe, SJ, provides students with the highest levels of financial need with the means to get a Creighton education.

As strategic planning implementation continues, a Strategic Planning Financial Overview campus forum is scheduled for Tuesday, March 27, at 2 p.m. in the Harper Center, Room 3028, with several additional forums planned for April. I encourage you to attend these; please register for the forums here

I do hope that you are able to enjoy spring break, no matter how you are spending the time. To our many students from the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice participating in service and immersion experiences, I am grateful for you using the time away to live our mission and engage in service. 

Also, we have students joining Drs. Scott Eastman and Ryan Spangler for a faculty-led program abroad on the Camino de Santiago in Spain, and many faculty and staff with Dr. Eileen Burke-Sullivan on an Ignatian pilgrimage in Spain, France, and Italy.  

Finally, I would like to thank our student-athletes and athletics staff for representing Creighton in the national spotlight during upcoming women’s and men’s conference basketball tournaments in Chicago and New York, respectively. Good luck, Bluejays!  


Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ