New Rochelle, NY (May 6, 2014) Sacred Heart University will present Kathleen Deignan, CND, Ph.D. with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the graduate commencement on May 17. Sr. Deignan will also deliver the keynote address to the SHU graduates and their family and friends.
Sr. Kathleen Deignan, a member of the Congregation of Notre Dame, founded by Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, is currently a professor of religious studies and director of the Iona Spirituality Institute. She teaches several courses in classical and contemporary spirituality, and serves on the faculty of Iona's interdisciplinary environmental studies programs. covering such topics as the study of religion and Catholicism in the contemporary world. She has devoted her work to transmitting the spiritual and intellectual legacies of Thomas Merton in a variety of academic, artistic and pastoral formats. She was the co-founder of the Iona Peace and Justice Studies program and the Iona Peace Institute in Ireland. She also founded the Iona Spirituality Institute, which sponsors a variety of programs for spiritual enrichment and collaborated in the founding of The Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona. She has composed more than 200 songs for liturgy and prayer that have been published by Schola Ministries. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Sacred Heart University, a master’s in the history of Christian spirituality and a doctorate in historical theology from Fordham University which also conferred on her their Sapientia et Doctrina award. In 2008 she completed her studies in religious environmental leadership and was named a GreenFaith Fellow.
In the letter of commendation, SHU President Petillo noted Dr. Deignan's work to realize the vision of The Second Vatican Council within the Catholic intellectual tradition and the field of higher education. In response Sister Kathleen gave credit to the transformative experience of being a student during the first years of Sacred Heart's founding, and the remarkable teachers and ministers she encountered there.
The SHU class of 2014 includes 837 undergraduates who will be receiving associate and bachelor’s degrees, and 774 graduate students who have earned master’s degrees, professional certificates and doctorates. This year, the ceremonies for both graduate and undergraduate students will take place at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.
The graduation ceremonies will conclude a year-long celebration of Sacred Heart’s 50th anniversary. To commemorate Sacred Heart’s history and growth, select alumni from each graduating class have been invited to participate in the procession.
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