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Dominican College Celebrates 56th Commencement

Acclaimed journalist and author, Ray Suarez, was the principal speaker at the College's 56th Commencement on May 23 at the Hennessy Center. He was also awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. 

The former host of NPR's Talk of the Nation, Mr. Suarez joined PBS' The NewsHour as a Washington-based senior correspondent in 1999. He serves as host of Destination Casa Blanca on HITN, one of the most popular Spanish-language channels in the country. A longstanding member of the Washington press corps, he is well-known for his expertise on quintessentially American issues, including politics, demographics, race, and religion. Mr. Suarez has also released several critically-acclaimed books, including The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration: 1966-1999 and his latest, The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America. An observer of the changing nature of communities and the intersection of religion and politics, Suarez shares fascinating insight into the evolution of American life.

Suarez holds a B.A. in African History from New York University and an M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by many colleges and universities, most recently by Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. He is a winner of the Benton Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Chicago. He has also been honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from NYU, and a Professional Achievement Award from the University of Chicago.

Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Vice President of Catholic Relief Services, U.S. Operations, was awarded the Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa. The U.S. Operations of CRS includes all policy advocacy, college and university collaborations, and Diocesan work connecting the U.S. constituency to CRS overseas beneficiaries and programs. A deep and respectful listener and consensus builder, Joan is recognized as a person whose personal faith life and work blend seamlessly, inspiring others to engage their faith in the work of justice and peace.

She earned her B.A. in Social Work from the University of Iowa and her Master's degree in Public Policy Management from the University of Maryland.

The Badami Outstanding Alumnus Award was presented to William J. Pakos. Dr. Pakos has been an active volunteer both in his community and abroad. He has served with Gifts of Love -a homeless shelter for men with HIV/AIDS and has worked with the Sisters of Charity to feed homeless people on the streets of Manhattan and visit people who are elderly, sick, or homebound. As a volunteer, he has also travelled to Washington D.C., Peru, India, and France. Most recently, Dr. Pakos set up a nonprofit organization to provide rehabilitation services to children in Haiti.

Dr. Pakos earned his B.S. in the Dominican College Occupational Therapy Program in 1994. He earned his doctorate degree in Occupational Therapy from Creighton University.

The 2010 Commencement ceremony was streamed live for family and friends who were not able to attend.

View a selection of photographs from commencement events here.

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