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Commencement Speaker Receives Multiple Honors

Commencement Speaker Receives Multiple Honors
Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Ph.D. ’93, G’93, H’19 speaks at the 2019 undergraduate commencement ceremony.

This spring, Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Ph.D. ’93, G’93, H’19, the director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, was awarded both the Arrupe Award and an honorary degree from Scranton. She was also the undergraduate Commencement speaker and was named to the University’s Board of Trustees.

Three days after the public release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the Commonwealth, The New York Times published an opinion column about the findings by Dr. Cummings.

The “masterful opinion article captured so well what I and so many other Catholics were feeling in that moment,” said University President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., who presented Dr. Cummings with the University’s Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Award for Distinguished Contributions to Ignatian Mission and Ministry Award at a ceremony in April.

In her address to the graduates at Commencement, Dr. Cummings said, “My prayer is that you, as Scranton graduates, will always seek to do more. My prediction is that your most profound encounters with the human and the divine await you in the places that feel the least familiar. My promise is that our church, our nation, our world and our planet are going to need every ounce of your passion, your talents, your creativity in the years to come. My plea is for you to take what you learned while studying in these mountains, and go forth determined to move metaphorical ones. The best is yet to come.”

An archived recording of the undergraduate commencement ceremony can be seen at

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