Loyola University Chicago



LeViis Haney

School of Education Commencement Address

Principal, Joseph Lovett Elementary School

LeViis A. Haney (EdD ’11), a Chicago native, has made the transformation of urban schools his life’s work. A former Chicago Public School (CPS) student, Dr. Haney graduated from Archbishop Joseph Weber High School. At Northeastern Illinois University, he received a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education with a middle school endorsement and a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision. In 2011, he earned a Doctor of Education in Administration and Supervision degree from Loyola University Chicago.

An Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL) spotlight principal, Dr. Haney has extensive experience in school redesign and technology integration. As an assistant principal, he led a team that won a multimillion-dollar grant to convert Spencer Elementary School from a math and science academy to a technology academy.

Currently as principal of Joseph Lovett Elementary School, Dr. Haney has led the school through a 1:1 student technology initiative as well as several school redesign initiatives including CPS Personalized Learning Advancing Youth (P.L.A.Y), The Chicago Public Education Fund’s Summer Design Program, LEAP Pilot Network, and LEAP Breakthrough Schools whole school redesign—all while maintaining impressive gains in reading and math. Dr. Haney believes the key to student success is rooted in the premise that in order to produce lifelong learners, students should “love learning.”

In addition to his professional career, Dr. Haney also owns and manages several properties in underserved communities, with the goal of providing high-quality living options at an affordable cost for people with low income. He enjoys doing carpentry work in many of those buildings.  He also builds and maintains computers and delivers motivational speeches to high school students, including seminars on nutrition and health.

Dr. Haney maintains his connection with the School of Education as an active member of the Dean’s Advisory Council and a participant in alumni events.

E.J. Dionne, Jr.

Institute of Pastoral Studies/The Graduate School
Commencement Address

Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Columnist, Washington Post

E. J. Dionne Jr. is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and university professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University.

A nationally known and respected commentator on politics, Dr. Dionne appears weekly on National Public Radio and regularly on MSNBC. He has also appeared on News Hour with Jim Lehrer and other PBS programs.

Dr. Dionne began his career with the New York Times, where he spent 14 years reporting on state and local government, national politics, and topics from around the world, including stints in Paris, Rome, and Beirut. The Los Angeles Times praised his coverage of the Vatican as the best in two decades. In 1990, Dr. Dionne joined the Washington Post in 1990 as a reporter covering national politics, and he began writing his column in 1993. His bestselling book, Why Americans Hate Politics (Simon & Schuster), was published in 1991. The book, which Newsday called “a classic in American political history,” won the Los Angeles Times book prize and was a National Book Award nominee.

Dr. Dionne is the author, editor, or co-editor of several other books and volumes, including They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era (1996), Community Works: The Revival of Civil Society in America (1998), What's God Got to Do with the American Experiment (2000), Bush v. Gore (2000), Sacred Places, Civic Purposes: Should Government Help Faith-Based Charity? (2001), Stand Up Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge (2004), Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right (2008), Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent (2012), and more. His latest book,Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism-From Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond, was published in January.

Dr. Dionne has received numerous awards, including the American Political Science Association’s Carey McWilliams Award to honor a major journalistic contribution to the understanding of politics.  He has been named among the 25 most influential Washington journalists by the National Journal and among the capital city’s top 50 journalists by the Washingtonian magazine. He was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2002, he received the Empathy Award from the Volunteers of America, and in 2004 he won the National Human Services Assembly’s Award for Excellence by a Member of the Media. In 2006, he gave the Theodore H. White Lecture at the Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University. The Sidney Hillman Foundation presented him with the Hillman Award for Career Achievement in 2011.

Dr. Dionne grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts. He graduated summa cum laude with a BA from Harvard University in 1973 and received his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He and his wife, Mary Boyle, live in Bethesda, Maryland, and have three children, James, Julia, and Margot.

Ann Scott Blouin

School of Nursing
Commencement Address

Executive Vice President of Customer Relations, The Joint Commission

Ann Scott Blouin (MSN ’80), RN, PhD, FACHE, is the executive vice president of customer relations at The Joint Commission. In this position, she focuses on building customer relationships, primarily in the hospital and health system market. She gathers customer ideas and feedback and shares that with colleagues for continuous improvement at The Joint Commission.

From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Blouin held the position of executive vice president for the Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations at The Joint Commission. Her responsibilities included executive leadership of accreditation and certification for more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs, including all activities related to surveys. She also administered accreditation and certification policy development, surveyor education and development, survey technology, and the ongoing development of accreditation process components.

With more than 30 years of health care administration, consulting, and clinical nursing experience, Dr. Blouin has held positions of program administrator, vice president for nursing, and executive vice president for operations at two Chicago-area community teaching hospitals and a Chicago academic medical center. She has worked with multiple health systems across the United States to help them improve quality and patient safety, revenue management, and operating cost efficiency and effectiveness. Dr. Blouin has consulted for a large number of health care organizations, serving in leadership roles at consulting firms such as Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and Huron Consulting Group.

Dr. Blouin has published and presented extensively on health care, patient care quality and safety, and nursing. She served as an adjunct faculty member at several Chicago area schools of nursing and medicine. She is a member of the University of Alabama Birmingham Healthcare Quality and Safety Programs Advisory Board and Loyola University Chicago’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing Dean’s Council. She currently serves as secretary on the National Patient Safety Foundation Board of Directors and America’s Essential Hospitals Institute Board, and she is an editorial advisor for the Journal of Nursing Administration and American Nurse Today.

Dr. Blouin earned her PhD in nursing sciences and MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her MSN with honors in Maternal/Child Nursing from Loyola University Chicago and BSN with high honors from Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. She is a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives and member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, American Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International—the Honor Society of Nursing.

Sr. Rosemary Connelly

School of Social Work Commencement Address

Executive Director, Misericordia Heart of Mercy

Sister Rosemary Connelly (MSW ’66) is a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy. A native Chicagoan, she attended parochial schools and taught in several Chicago Archdiocesan schools while continuing her studies. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Science in 1959, a Master of Arts in Sociology from St. Louis University in 1963, and a Master of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago in 1966.

Misericordia began providing services for persons in need in 1921. Operated by the Sisters of Mercy, it first served as a maternity hospital on the South Side of Chicago for unwed mothers. In 1954, it turned its attention to another group in need of special care—children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Sister Rosemary was appointed Misericordia’s executive director in 1969. At that time, there were no services for children with disabilities, so she started a variety of programs designed to help the children achieve the highest level of independence possible. In 1976, Sister Rosemary, 39 children, and 36 dedicated staff members moved to the former site of Angel Guardian Orphanage on the North Side of Chicago at 6300 North Ridge.

A visionary who has devoted 47 years to the Misericordia community, Sister Rosemary oversees a far-reaching program that includes 600 children and adult residents, an Outreach Program serving more than 140 families, 1,000 employees, and thousands of volunteers both on and off campus. More than 400 people are on Misericordia’s waiting list. Her leadership has established Misericordia as one of the nation’s leading communities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is a model for others, providing a wide range of residential options, educational programs, vocational training, therapies, social and recreational activities, health and fitness resources, and opportunities for spiritual growth.

In addition, Misericordia provides a full continuum of care to meet the diverse needs of the population it serves. In 2015, it opened four on-campus Quinlan Terrace Homes designed to address the evolving health care needs of its aging residents. It also is making plans to introduce a new Adult Enrichment Program for 100 young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are living at home with their families.

As Sister Rosemary continues her leadership of Misericordia, she remains steadfast in her commitment to provide opportunities for all those with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live lives that are as fulfilled, meaningful, and independent as possible.

On behalf of Misericordia, Sister Rosemary has received seven honorary doctorate degrees along with numerous awards and honors throughout the years. More recent awards include an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, St. Mary’s College Notre Dame, IN (2015); a Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band Dinner Dance Honoree (2014); the Robert E. McLaughlin Faith Foundation Award (2014); a Christ Brings Hope Award: Relevant Radio (2013); a Marquette University Honorary Degree: a Doctor of Humane Letters (2013); a Catholic Woman of the Year Award from the Catholic Daughters of the Americas (2012); and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Dominican University (2011).

Keith R. Cienkus

School of Business Commencement Address

Division Vice President of Global Operations, Abbott Laboratories

Keith Cienkus (BS ’89, MBA ’95) assumed his current role as division vice president of global operations for Abbott Laboratories Diagnostics Division in 2013. He is responsible for procurement, logistics, and a global multisite organization for the manufacture of diagnostic lab instruments and laboratory tests. He joined Abbott in 1989 and has over 26 years of experience there in the diagnostics business. At Abbott, he has held several leadership roles across departments including research and development, quality, engineering, and operations.

Over the course of his Abbott career, Cienkus’s work has taken him to Sligo, Ireland, and Dallas, Texas, in addition to headquarters outside Chicago. He plays a key role on the leadership team that has transformed the diagnostics division into one of Abbott’s highest performing businesses, with a strong focus on operational productivity, product quality, and product development.

For more than 125 years, Abbott has brought new products and technologies to the world—in nutrition, diagnostics, medical devices, and branded generic pharmaceuticals—that create more possibilities for more people at all stages of life. The diagnostic products, automation, and informatics solutions that Abbott makes are designed to improve decision-making and patient care across the entire health care system. Today, 74,000 Abbott employees are working to help people live not just longer, but better, in the more than 150 countries they serve.

A current international partnership that Cienkus and the Abbott Fund are involved in is with the government of Tanzania to strengthen its public health system. A key program there has been the modernization of the Central Pathology Laboratory and employee mentoring of the Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania and 23 regional-level laboratories. Cienkus’s team visits the labs regularly to offer ongoing training and mentorship to the lab technicians.

Cienkus earned a BS in biology (1989) and an MBA (1995) at Loyola University Chicago. His family has a strong lineage at Loyola. His father, Robert (PhD ’74), received his doctorate from Loyola and is a professor emeritus in Loyola’s School of Education after teaching there for 38 years. His mother (MA ’77) received her master’s in Spanish.  Cienkus’s wife, Laura O’Dwyer (BBA ’89), graduated from Loyola with a degree in business, and his siblings also received degrees from Loyola: Renee Zoladz (BS ’87, PhD ‘06), Scott Cienkus (MD ‘03), and Leanne Fanelli (BA ’92, PhD ‘06).

Bill Plante

School of Communication Commencement Address

Candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters
Senior White House Correspondent, CBS News

From the moment he graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 1959, Bill Plante (BS ’59) has embraced the Ignatian credo “Go forth and set the world on fire.” The Emmy Award–winning reporter has been with CBS News for more than 50 years, covering every presidential campaign from 1968 to 2012. Plante is the senior White House correspondent, and his reports are seen regularly on CBS This Morning and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.

Early in his career, Plante reported on the civil rights movement in Mississippi and Alabama, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic march from Selma to Montgomery. As a foreign correspondent, he covered the Vietnam War four times between 1964 and 1975.

Plante uses his journalistic skills to expose the truth, investigate critical issues in government, and give a voice to the voiceless. He has been based in the CBS News Washington bureau since December 1976. His first White House assignment came in 1981 when he covered the Reagan presidency. During the George Bush administration, he covered the State Department and then the Bill Clinton campaign. He returned to covering the White House at the beginning of the Clinton presidency in 1993 and has remained there since.

During the Reagan presidency, Plante covered the historic summit meeting in Moscow with Mikhail Gorbachev. At the State Department, he covered Secretary of State James Baker's trips to the Middle East, both before and after the Gulf War; the changing U.S.-Soviet relationship during that period; and the 1991 Middle East peace talks, among many others.

To support his alma mater, Plante served for nine years on the Loyola Board of Trustees and has returned frequently as a guest speaker. He was part of a leadership team that helped guide Loyola through challenging financial times. He also aided the presidential search that resulted in the selection of the Rev. Michael Garanzini, S.J., now Loyola’s chancellor. For his service and contributions, the School of Communication recently established the Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity, an endowed chair focused on thoughtful leadership, ethics, and integrity in journalism.

Plante enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with students at Loyola. He has visited the School of Communication, serving as a guest speaker in classes, participating in interviews with students, and working with students on television broadcasts. He encourages students to use journalism as a tool of social justice, drawing from his work covering the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War.

Plante has received many major broadcast journalism awards, including the Missouri School of Journalism Honor Award in 2015, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Radio-Television News Directors Foundation in 2013, and a shared DuPont Award for coverage of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. Among other honors, he received Emmy Awards for his coverage of the death of Princess Diana, the Reagan-Gorbachev summit, Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign, and an investigative report on the U.S.-Soviet wheat deal broadcast on the CBS Evening News in 1972.

Mary Ann Hynes

College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Address

Candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters
General Counsel, Archdiocese of Chicago

Mary Ann Hynes (BA ‘90) is general counsel for the Archdiocese of Chicago, as well as a champion of professional women in law and other leadership positions. Hynes received an Executive MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Business, an LLM in Taxation and a JD from John Marshall Law School, and a BA from Loyola University Chicago, where she studied mathematics and political science. Hynes has contributed to her professional community while also blazing a trail for other women leaders.

Throughout her career, Hynes has focused on expanding opportunities for women in law and championing the cause of diversity in the legal profession. When she started law school in 1967 at age 20, she was among only seven women in her entire school. By age 32, Hynes was a senior executive officer and working mother of two. She realized early on in her career that women need mentors—someone to help them navigate corporate law. Hynes is known and highly respected for her extensive experience in governance, compliance, and mergers and acquisitions, focusing on international growth, innovation, strategy, and risk management. She has worked in a variety of fields, including publishing, aeronautics, manufacturing, agriculture, and mining.

Since 2002, Hynes has been the director of the Dr. Scholl Foundation, a private grant-making foundation that provides financial assistance to charitable organizations committed to improving our world. The foundation believes the solutions to the problems of today’s world lie in the values of innovation, practicality, hard work, and compassion. She has also served for many years as a mentor through the Chicago Network, an organization that works to increase the number of women in executive positions.

Hynes has served on the board of directors for the Mid-America Chapter of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Bar Foundation, and the Big Shoulders Fund of Chicago. She was recently appointed as a trustee of the John Marshall Law School in 2007, as well as treasurer and audit chair. She is a member of many professional associations and an active volunteer. She has served as a member of the Advisory Manufacturing Council to the U.S. secretary of commerce.

Known for many firsts in the industry, Hynes was the first female general counsel for a Fortune 500 Company less than 10 years out of law school. She was the first female officer of Sundstrand Corporation and the Chicago Crime Commission and the first female member of the North Shore General Counsel Association.

Hynes has received numerous honors and awards, including Loyola’s Damen Award in 2015. She also received the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award (2015), the Award for Professional Excellence (2015) from the Harvard Center on the Legal Profession, the Anti-Defamation League Women of Achievement Award (2013), and others.

Sr. Jean Dolores Schmidt

College of Arts and Sciences

Candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters
Chaplain, Loyola's Water Tower Campus and Men's Basketball Team

Presented by K.C. Mmeje, EdD, Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students

Jean Dolores Schmidt, a sister in the religious order of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) for more than 75 years, has fulfilled her childhood dream of teaching and inspired countless Loyolans with her community pride and widespread sharing of good will. Her life has been a study in devotion to the needs of others.

After joining the BVMs in 1937, Sister Jean earned her BA at Mount St. Mary’s University in 1949 and her MA at Loyola Marymount University in 1961, both in Los Angeles. Before arriving at Mundelein College in 1961, Sister Jean served as a principal, coach, and teacher at several schools in California and Illinois. At Mundelein, she held several leadership positions in the education department and the office of the college’s academic dean. She also organized a reading clinic where she continued to contribute her knowledge as an educator. During the 1991 affiliation between Mundelein College and Loyola, she helped integrate the two communities. Fittingly, she became an academic advisor in what was then called Mundelein College of Loyola University, known today as Loyola’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Although retired from full-time work since 1994, she continues to serve the Loyola community through its Campus Ministry Department as chaplain of both the Water Tower Campus and the men’s basketball team. Since becoming chaplain of the men’s basketball team in 1994, Sister Jean has shown her dedication to Loyola’s student-athletes beyond their spiritual health. She believes athletics affords valuable lessons for young people about how to deal with adversity in life. As chaplain of the Water Tower Campus, she befriends students waiting in line for the intercampus shuttle bus, simply to bring joy into their lives.

Living with the students in residence halls off and on since 1978 has allowed Sister Jean to influence students beyond the classroom or the court. One way is by leading prayer groups in residence-hall communities. One of her most successful programs is SMILE (Students Moving Into the Lives of the Elderly). This program connects Loyola students with residents of The Clare, a retirement community on the Water Tower Campus, through which both students and retirees benefit from companionship and mutual learning. Sister Jean also incorporates St. Ignatius’s Daily Examen in her mentoring, encouraging students to reflect on all they have done during the day, especially the things that are positive. And at the Lake Shore Campus, she often sits with students in the Damen Student Center atrium during lunch, getting to know them and offering her guidance.

In 2009, Sister Jean received the Dux Mirabilis Award, an honor given to an extraordinary leader in the Loyola community for outstanding contributions to the University and its mission. She is a truly beloved figure at Loyola who has inspired thousands of students with her unfailing energy, faith, and warmth.

Afredo Quinones-Hinojosa

College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Address

Candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Science
Brain Surgeon and Professor, Johns Hopkins University

Embodying an American dream like no other, Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa journeyed from rural Mexico to the tomato fields and rail yards of Central California, toiling as a migrant worker. Although today he is known as Dr. Q., not too long ago he was an impoverished teenager living in a rural Mexican village before he hopped an 18-foot fence into California. Through hope, hard work, and persistence, he found his way and became a hero to many people in the Hispanic community.

When he was not working in the fields, Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa attended biology classes at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, California. He went on to become a gifted student at the University of California, Berkeley before transferring to Harvard, where he received his medical degree and graduated cum laude. He then received his American citizenship before age 30. After completing his residency at the University of California, San Francisco—where he also obtained a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental and stem cell biology—he assumed his current post as professor of neurosurgery, oncology, neuroscience, and cellular and molecular medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

In 2011, he co-founded Mission:BRAIN, a nonprofit organization providing neurosurgical resources to patients, caregivers, and health care providers in underserved areas around the world. A consortium of medical professionals, suppliers, and volunteers from across the U.S., Mission:BRAIN conducts neurosurgical missions in Mexico, the Philippines, and other countries where health care is lacking.

In 2012, Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa published his autobiography, Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon. The best-selling book details his journey from the tomato fields of Central California to the highest echelons of medicine in the U.S. and around the world. He is at work on a follow-up volume describing his day-to-day life as a brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins University.

Today, he performs 250 brain surgeries a year and leads cutting-edge cancer research. He has appeared on the award-winning ABC series HopkinsNOVACBS News with Katie Couric and The Today Show, and he speaks regularly to students of all ages on the value of embracing careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa focuses on the surgical treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors, with an emphasis on motor and speech mapping during surgery as well as in the treatment of patients with pituitary and skull base tumors using transphenoidal endonasal and minimally invasive surgical approaches. He has conducted numerous research efforts on brain cancer, receiving funding from the National Institute of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others. He is working on a method to use human fat cells to fight brain cancer. 

Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa has delivered keynote speeches to a variety of audiences including students, medical organizations, and business groups. He enthusiastically recounts stories from his life as a top brain surgeon and neuroscientist and how he picked up his sense of control in the operating room from the work he did picking tomatoes in the San Joaquin Valley.

Steve J. Bernas

School of Continuing and Professional Studies Commencement Address

President and CEO, Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Inc.

Steve J. Bernas (BS ’87) is president and chief executive officer for the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Inc., and the president of the Better Business Bureau Educational Foundation. Over his 28-year career, he has mediated thousands of consumer and business-to-business disputes and undergone extensive training in Alternative Dispute Resolution conflict resolution.

Bernas is responsible for the overall leadership and day-to-day management of the Better Business Bureau. He works with the board of directors to establish its vision and drives revenue and impact for the organization. In conjunction with the board, he will build and implement a strategic plan that supports the bureau's mission. The bureau is a significant distributor of consumer and business education, information, and alerts about marketplace scams. It sets and upholds high standards for ethical marketplace behavior and is a valuable resource for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.

Bernas continues to be actively involved with a multitude of trade associations in developing and executing programs that encourage and enable best practices in the marketplace. A widely acknowledged and sought-after expert in consumer confidence issues, scams, customer/business relations and self-regulatory initiatives, he is regularly seen on local and national TV and quoted in newspapers and magazines on a myriad of consumer and business issues.

Bernas received his BS in psychology from Loyola University Chicago and currently serves on the Illinois Attorney General's Automobile Advertising Review and the Attorney General Charitable Trust Committee, as well as the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Fraud Task Force. He is on the board of directors of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association and is a past member of the board of advisors for Archbishop Quigley Seminary High School.

In 2013, Bernas received the distinguished FBI Directors Community Leadership Award in Washington, DC, the top civilian FBI honor. In 2015, he received the prestigious Damen Award from Loyola.

J. Phil Gilbert

School of Law Commencement Address

Senior Judge, Southern District of Illinois

Judge Phil Gilbert (JD ’74) is a lifelong resident of Carbondale, Illinois. He graduated from Carbondale Community High School in 1967, where he was co-captain of the basketball team that finished second in the state. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law. After law school, he returned to Carbondale and became a partner in the firm of Gilbert & Gilbert. He was a member of the Illinois State Board of Elections from 1978 to 1987 and was its chairman from 1981 to 1983.

Judge Gilbert was a partner in the firm of Gilbert, Kimmel, Huffman & Prosser, Ltd. from 1983 to 1988, when he was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court as a circuit judge in the First Judicial Circuit and served as a state court judge until his appointment to the federal bench. Judge Gilbert was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of Illinois in September 1992 by President George H. W. Bush. He served as chief judge of the Southern District of Illinois from October 1993 to September 2000.

In March 2014, Judge Gilbert assumed senior status but continues his public service by rendering substantial service as a senior judge in Illinois.

In 2008, Judge Gilbert received the Silver Gavel Award for his dedication to justice from the criminal defense bars of the Southern District of Illinois and the Eastern District of Missouri. He received the Southern Illinois University School of Law Founders’ Medal in 2009 for distinguished service to the law school.

In 2010, Judge Gilbert was the recipient of the Loyola School of Law’s Distinguished Jurist Award.

On February 27, 2015, Judge Gilbert was appointed to the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees by Governor Bruce Rauner.

Darrell G. Kirch, MD

School of Medicine Commencement Address

President and CEO, Association of American Medical Colleges

Darrell G. Kirch, MD, is president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Founded in 1876 and based in Washington, D.C., the AAMC is a not-for-profit association representing all 145 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves 148,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians.

A distinguished physician, educator, and medical scientist, Dr. Kirch speaks and publishes widely on the need for transformation in the nation’s health care system and how academic medicine can lead that change across medical education, medical research, and patient care. His career spans all aspects of academic medicine and includes leadership positions at two medical schools and academic health systems, as well as at the National Institutes of Health.

Before becoming AAMC president, Dr. Kirch was selected as chair-elect of the association and co-chaired the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accreditation body for medical schools. He also has served as chair of the AAMC Council of Deans Administrative Board and the American Medical Association Section on Medical Schools.

Dr. Kirch became AAMC president in July 2006 following six years as senior vice president for health affairs, dean of the College of Medicine, and CEO of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at The Pennsylvania State University, where he and his leadership team are credited with revitalizing the institution and guiding it through a period of educational innovation and major growth in clinical activity and research funding. Before joining Penn State, Dr. Kirch held several leadership positions at the Medical College of Georgia from 1994 to 2000.

As a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, Dr. Kirch conducted research on the biological basis of and clinical treatments for severe neuropsychiatric disorders. Following the completion of his residency training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, he joined the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland, where he was named acting scientific director in 1993. His NIMH contributions were recognized when he received the Outstanding Service Medal of the United States Public Health Service.

Dr. Kirch is a member of several professional societies, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American College of Psychiatrists, and the American Medical Association. He serves as chair of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Special Medical Advisory Group. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2007.

A native of Denver, Dr. Kirch received his BA and MD degrees from the University of Colorado, which in 2002 presented him with its Silver and Gold Alumni Award. He has held medical faculty positions at Penn State, the Medical College of Georgia, and George Washington University. A prolific writer and public speaker, Dr. Kirch has published more than 140 articles and book chapters and made numerous presentations to medical, educational, scientific, and advocacy organizations.

Shannon Nicole Cervantes

Shannon Nicole Cervantes delivers the student speech during Loyola University Chicago's School of Continuing and Professional Studies commencement ceremony, held in the Mundelein Auditorium on May 15, 2016.

Lisa Haneul Kim

Lisa Haneul Kim delivered the student address to the College of Arts & Sciences and Institute of Environmental Sustainability commencement ceremony, held at the Gentile Arena on May 13, 2016.

Gustavo Arreguin Mendoza and Flavio Genaro Bravo

Gustavo Arreguin Mendoza and Flavio Genaro Bravo were the student speakers at the College of Arts & Sciences and St. Joseph Seminary commencement ceremony, held at the Gentile Arena on May 13, 2016. 

Nicole Saguid Camacho

Nicole Saguid Camacho delivers the student speech during Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication commencement ceremony, held at the Gentile Arena on May 12, 2016.

Vincent L. Johnson

Vincent L. Johnson (BS' 88, MD '93) delivers the student speech during Quinlan School of Business commencement ceremony, held at the Gentile Arena on May 12, 2016.

Marcos Anthony Gonzales, S.J.

Marcos Anthony Gonzales, S.J. delivered the student speech and received a standing ovation during Loyola University Chicago's School of Social Work commencement ceremony, held at the Gentile Arena on May 11, 2016.

Jessica Nicole Bay

Jessica Nicole Bay delivers the student address during the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing commencement ceremony was held at the Gentile Arena on May 11, 2016.

Monica Feliz Ramos Castillo

Monica Feliz Ramos Castillo delivers the student speech during Loyola University Chicago's Graduate School and Institute of Pastoral Studies commencement ceremony, held at the Gentile Arena on May 10, 2016.

Sun Ah Jun

Sun Ah Jun delivers the student speech during Loyola University Chicago's School of Education commencement ceremony, held at the Gentile Arena on May 10, 2016.

Dominic LoVerde

Dominic LoVerde, President, Student Bar Association, delivers the commencement address to Loyola University Chicago's School of Law on May 21, 2016 in Gentile Arena on Loyola's Lake Shore Campus.

Hani I. Kuttab

Hani I. Kuttab, Candidate for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine, President, Class of 2016, delivers the commencement address to Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine on May 21, 2016 in Gentile Arena on Loyola's Lake Shore Campus.