Loyola University Chicago

College of Arts & Sciences


Congratulations to the 2019 Loyola University College of Arts and Sciences graduates walked at the College's Commencement ceremonies at the 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. ceremonies on Friday, May 10 in Gentile Arena.

This year's College of Arts and Sciences morning commencement speaker is president and a member of the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation, Ellen Alberding. As the chief executive of the Joyce Foundation, Alberding oversees the charitable distribution of $50 million annually from assets of $1 billion. Under her leadership, the foundation has gained national prominence with a grant portfolio rooted in the core belief that communities are stronger when they share benefits broadly. In the areas of education and economic mobility, the foundation works to ensure equitable access to high-quality education and jobs for the region’s next generation, especially young people of color and those from low-income communities. The Joyce Foundation’s goals, under Alberding’s leadership, align with Loyola’s mission and its promise to “care for others” and “care for community.”

This year's College of Arts and Sciences afternoon commencement speaker is civil rights advocate Terrence Roberts, PhD. Roberts has devoted his life to battling oppression, segregation, and discrimination. One of the Little Rock Nine—a group of African-American students who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas—he was called early on to stand up and lead as a defender of civil rights. In 1958, he was awarded the prestigious Spingarn Medal by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Years later, in 1999, the United States Congress bestowed upon him the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian award. President Bill Clinton presented the medal to him at the White House.

The student speaker for the morning commencement ceremonies is information technology major Javier Silva. Silva is a first generation Latino college student who is the oldest of four siblings of immigrant parents. During his time at Loyola, Silva studied in Madrid, Spain for a semester through Saint Louis University. He also has created a blog in which he has posted his speech. Those who have missed commencement may read it here.

For the afternoon ceremony, behavioral neuroscience major Ali Piracha addressed the graduating class. As a first generation DACA student, he has been able to explore and accept all the labels that have been thrust upon him while studying at the university. While at Loyola, Piracha has received the Senn Scholar’s Award—a full tuition scholarship—and served as president of Alpha Sigma Nu, as well as co-chairing the Maroon & Gold. For more information on the 2019 commencement, visit: LUC.edu/commencement/