Campus Life

Dons on the March

USF celebrates spring commencement

by Annie Breen

Congratulations are in order for more than 2,200 Dons graduating this spring. USF will honor 1,102 undergraduates, 1,098 graduate students, and 163 doctoral candidates during ceremonies to be held May 16-18.

Speakers include Dr. Clarence B. Jones, former speechwriter and counsel for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California’s first surgeon general; and Helen Zia, an award-winning author, journalist, and activist for Asian American and LGBTQ rights.

Jones was a member of King’s legal defense team before joining his research committee and helping draft his speeches. Jones was the only member of that committee allowed to visit King while he was incarcerated, and the writings he smuggled out from his visits became “Letters from Birmingham Jail.” Jones later helped write King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Jones is director and co-founder of USF’s Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice.

Burke Harris is California’s first surgeon general. A pediatrician and researcher, she is a pioneer in the recognition and treatment of toxic stress in children, known as “adverse child experiences” or ACEs. She founded the Bayview Child Healthcare Center and the Center for Youth Wellness before being appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom as California’s inaugural surgeon general this year.

Zia is an author, journalist, and activist who has been a persistent voice in the national discourse on human rights. She’s written three books, earned numerous journalism awards, been featured in Oscar-winning documentaries, and was the executive editor of Ms. Magazine. In 2018, she was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Asian American Studies.

Commencement Exercises

Commencement Mass — May 16 at 3 p.m.

School of Education — May 16 at 6 p.m.

Undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Students in the School of Management — May 17 at 9 a.m.

Undergraduate Professional Bachelor’s Degree Students and Graduate Students in the School of Management — May 17 at 12 p.m.

School of Law — May 17 at 3 p.m.

School of Nursing and Health Professions — May 17 at 6 p.m.

Undergraduate Humanities and Sciences Students in the College of Arts and Sciences — May 18 at 9 a.m.

Undergraduate Arts and Social Sciences Students in the College of Arts and Sciences — May 18 at 12 p.m.

Graduate Students in the College of Arts and Sciences — May 18 at 3 p.m.

All ceremonies at St. Ignatius Church.