President George Bush Named 2007 Commencement Speaker

April 02, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
LATROBE, PA — The White House announced March 26 that President George W. Bush will give the commencement address to Saint Vincent College graduates at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 11, in the Robert S. Carey Student Center, College officials reported today. An invitation was extended by Saint Vincent Chancellor and Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B. last year.

The announcement was reported by Archabbot Douglas at a mid-day press conference in downtown Pittsburgh. Joining him for the announcement were J. Christopher Donahue, president and chief executive officer of Federated Investors, who is also chairman of the Saint Vincent College Board of Directors, and H. James Towey, president of Saint Vincent College. Two students, Kimberly N. Stevens, a senior business administration major, and Steven R. Leuschel, president of the Student Government Association, joined College officials.

President Bush has given the commencement address at 16 institutions of higher education, including nine private and public colleges. This will be Mr. Bush's first commencement address at a Pennsylvania college and only the second at a Catholic institution.

"We are deeply honored that President Bush will speak at Saint Vincent, the first standing president to do so," Archabbot Douglas said. "I was optimistic that he would accept our invitation since we are having one of the most exciting years in our history. It is going to be a memorable day for the graduates and their families and friends and one that will become a cherished part of Saint Vincent history for many, many years to come."

"Saint Vincent delivers a world-class educational program and this is another opportunity to provide an experience the graduates will treasure for the rest of their lives," Archabbot Douglas added.

Last July, Jim Towey was named the 16th President of Saint Vincent College. Mr. Towey was a top aide to President Bush, serving as Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Prior to that, Mr. Towey also had worked with Mother Teresa for 12 years as legal counsel and volunteer in her missions in the United States and Mexico.

Saint Vincent College is a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college, founded in 1846, that is located in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Saint Vincent College is developing a national profile with applications for admission and enrollment at record highs and several major construction projects underway on campus.

Among its recent achievements:

Admission applications for fall 2007 students are at an all-time high and are nearly 40% higher than they were at this time a year ago. For the first time in College history, there is a waiting list for admission. Total enrollment topped 1,800 for the first time last year.

Construction is now underway on a $14 million structure that will house the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media, the Saint Vincent College Conference Center and the McCarl Coverlet Collection.

Saint Vincent announced in November 2006 the successful completion of a record-breaking $75 million development campaign.

Cooperative agreements have been completed with eight Chinese colleges and universities to give Saint Vincent students the opportunity to study in China. Saint Vincent also houses the James and Margaret-Tseng Loe China Studies Center which sponsors conferences on the arts, philosophies, history and culture of China. The Center carries forward the history of Benedictine contributions to Chinese higher education dating back to the founding of Fu Jen Catholic University in 1925.

The Kennametal Center for Operational Excellence is a signature program of the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government, which empowers regional enterprises to achieve world-class performance.

Saint Vincent is now competing in NCAA Division III athletics and returns to playing intercollegiate football in September 2007.

President Bush has spoken at nine public and private colleges since taking office including Notre Dame and Yale Universities in 2001, Ohio State University in 2002, University of South Carolina in 2003, Louisiana State University and Concordia University — Wisconsin in 2004, Calvin College in 2005, and Mississippi Gulf Coast Academy and Oklahoma State University in 2006.

Further details about Saint Vincent College's Commencement ceremony can be found online at

For Information:
Don Orlando
Director, Public Relations
Saint Vincent College
300 Fraser Purchase Road
Latrobe, PA 15650-2690
724 537-4560