Stockton's Bishop Stephen Blaire to Receive Honorary Degree at USF

SAN FRANCISCO (May 16, 2013) - The University of San Francisco (USF) will present an honorary doctorate in humane letters to Stephen E. Blaire, Bishop of the Diocese of Stockton, California this Friday, May 17, at 3:00 p.m. In addition to serving as the fifth and current bishop of Stockton, Blaire is also the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. 

"Bishop Blaire is an articulate spokesperson for the Conference of Catholic Bishops on a number of important domestic policy issues," said USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J., who will confer the honorary degree during the graduation ceremony for 179 graduate students of USF's College of Arts and Sciences. "He speaks from the heart and with deep conviction on issues from the perspective of Catholic Social Thought on poverty, immigration, health care, gun control and other pressing questions facing this country."

Bishop Blaire has emerged as advocate for life and a national leader on economic justice issues. The Diocese of Stockton is among five U.S. regions with the highest percentage of residents living below the poverty line. In his day-to-day work, Bishop Blaire witnesses the human costs of poverty, and he is an outspoken advocate for the poor. Along with other bishops, he has written to members of Congress calling for a "circle of protection" around programs directed towards the poor, such as food stamp assistance, school breakfasts, affordable housing, community development, education, workforce development, and emergency unemployment compensation.

Throughout his work, Bishop Blaire has consistently given voice to the poor and vulnerable, fostered economic justice, advocated environmental responsibility, and promoted reasonable regulations to reduce gun violence in our nation. He lives out the University of San Francisco's core value by promoting a "common good that transcends the interests of particular individuals or groups; and reasoned discourse rather than coercion as the norm for decision making."

The graduation ceremony will take place at St. Ignatius Catholic Church on the USF campus-located at 650 Parker Ave. (at Fulton Street) in San Francisco.

To request interviews with Bishop Blaire or USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J., please contact Anne-Marie Devine, senior director of media relations at USF, 415.422.2697 or abdevine@usfca.edu.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world's most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student's passion for social justice and a desire to "Change the World from Here."  For more information, please visit www.usfca.edu.