Nearly 900 Students Graduate from USF

SAN FRANCISCO — Dec. 16, 2011

The University of San Francisco’s newest class of graduates will be honored today, along with three distinguished individuals receiving honorary doctorate degrees. Almost 900 students have been invited to participate in the 156th commencement exercises, including 401 undergraduate candidates, 440 graduates candidates, and 23 doctoral candidates.

Clarence Benjamin Jones Sr., the author of “What Would Martin Say?” and “Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation,” will speak at the College of Arts and Sciences ceremony at 12:30 p.m. and accept an honorary doctor of humane letters degree as part of the proceedings. Jones is a former speechwriter, attorney, and advisor to the late Martin Luther King Jr. He was the first African American partner in a Wall Street investment bank in the 1970s. Jones was awarded a White House Letter of Commendation by President Bill Clinton for his 1963 civil rights work in Birmingham, Alabama.

Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, will receive an honorary doctoral degree and speak during the combined School of Education and School of Nursing and Health Professions ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Dr. Remen is the founding director of Commonweal’s Institute for the Study of Health and Illness, a nonprofit that promotes innovation in health care, and provides support and education to health care professionals.

Dominic A. Tarantino ’54 will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree and speak during commencement exercises for the School of Management at 6:30 this evening. Tarantino served on the USF Board of Trustees for 18 years and was chairman of the board from 1999 to 2003. He played a central role in recruiting USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J., to the university. Tarantino was also an early advocate for extending USF’s of health benefits to legally domiciled adults.

“The University is careful about whom it chooses to honor at commencement,” said USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J. “The honorees for this commencement represent a careful blend and balance of integrity, compassion, and professional success in very different fields. Each has had the kind of positive effect on society that we want to hold-up for emulation by our students.”

The three commencement ceremonies will be held at St. Ignatius Church (650 Parker Avenue at Fulton) on the USF campus.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is in the heart of one of the most innovative and diverse cities and features a vibrant community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields while building a more humane and just world. University of San Francisco students, faculty, and alumni are involved in the entrepreneurial city of San Francisco and work in all industries, from technology to the nonprofit sector.  With dedicated professors and exceptional academic programs to choose from, the university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the knowledge and skills needed to develop into ethical leaders who are sought after in their professions. USF’s diverse student body benefits from direct access to faculty, small class sizes, and a broad array of programs and co-curricular opportunities. Informed by the university’s 156-year-old Jesuit Catholic mission, the USF community ignites students’ passion for social justice and the pursuit of the common good. For more information about the University of San Francisco, please visit