BY GRACE KANARY, WITH ISN STAFF | June 12, 2019
In the past month, Jesuit colleges and universities across the U.S. have celebrated the graduations of thousands of students. This is an opportune time for commencement speakers to inspire with powerful words as graduates go forth into the world as “men and women for others.” ISN has collected a few of the best faith and justice quotes from commencement speeches across the country — enjoy and be inspired!
Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., founder of Homeboy Industries, spoke at the Le Moyne College commencement on May 19, 2019. Fr. Boyle was a keynote speaker at the 2016 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice and ISN’s 2018 Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award honoree. Watch his speech at Le Moyne College here.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former NBA basketball player, bestselling author, and activist, spoke at the Loyola Marymount University commencement. View his full speech here.
Isabel Capeloa Gil, rector of the Catholic University of Portugal and president of the International Federation of Catholic Universities, spoke at Boston College commencement on May 20. Read more about commencement and speakers here.
Kyle Korver, NBA basketball player for the Utah Jazz and a 2003 graduate of Creighton University, spoke at his alma mater’s commencement on May 18. Read the full transcript of his address here.
Fr. James Martin, S.J., best-selling author and editor at large for America Magazine, spoke at the Xavier University commenement on May 18. He has spoken numerous times at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, including a 2013 keynote address, and was a 2019 Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award honoree at ISN’s 15th annivesary kickoff event, Ignite: A Celebration of Justice. Watch his full commencement address at Xavier University here.
Rip Rapson, president and CEO of the Kresge Foundation, spoke at the University of Detroit Mercy commencement on May 11. Read the full transcipt here.
David Brooks, New York Times columnist, spoke at the Marquette University commencement on May 19. Watch his full speech here.
William Watters, S.J., founder of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore and assisting priest at St. Ignatius Catholic Community, spoke at the Loyola University Maryland commencement. Read more here.
Grace Kanary is a student at Saint Louis University studying occupational therapy with a minor in urban poverty studies. She attended the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice for the first time in 2018 and helped lead a team from SLU in 2019. She attended the Ignatian Justice Summit during the summer of 2019, which led to her involvement in UndocuWeek 2020. Grace loved the opportunity to intern at ISN during the summer of 2019 to see the behind the scenes of the organization and try to figure out how to merge her passion for occupational therapy and social justice. She is from Ohio City in Cleveland and is a graduate of Saint Joseph Academy.