Commencement | Mount St. Joseph University

Graduation. It's more than your last day here. It's a celebration of everything you did to get here and one step closer to a successful future!

May 2018 Commencement

Mount St. Joseph University is proud to celebrate the 101st Commencement of Mount St. Joseph University which will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2018 in the Harrington Center. 

The Ceremony for graduate/doctoral students will be held at 10 a.m. and the ceremony for undergraduate students will be held at 2:30 p.m.

Graduation Details

Thursday, May 10, 2018 Students graduating at the 2:30 p.m. ceremony are required to attend practice at 1 p.m. in the Harrington Center.  Senior Send Off will immediately follow in the Harrington Food Court for ALL graduates. (Note: there is NO practice for the 10 a.m. ceremony participants.)                

Friday, May 11, 2018 The Baccalaureate Liturgy will be celebrated on Friday, May 12 at 6 p.m. in the Mater Dei Chapel.  All are welcome!  A reception will immediately follow in the Seton Center Lobby.

Saturday, May 12, 2018 The Graduation ceremonies will be held in the Harrington Center at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.  Doors will open one hour before each ceremony.  This event is not open to the public.  Every guest must have a ticket, including small children who are held.  Graduates line up in the Harrington Old Gym, arriving one hour prior to each ceremony.


A Buffet Brunch is offered in the Fifth Third Dining Hall from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Tickets are required and can be purchased until May 10, 2018.  Graduates are guests of the University and do not pay for brunch.  Adults are $12, children ages 5-12 are $8, and children 4 and under eat free.

Stream it Live!

We will provide a live video stream of our graduation ceremonies for family and friends who cannot attend.  The following web addresses can be used for accessing the graduation video stream.

Graduation Ceremony at 10 a.m. (graduate/doctoral students) available for access at 9:55 a.m.

Graduation Ceremony at 2:30 p.m. (undergraduate students) available for access at 2:20 p.m.

Commencement Speakers

Morning Ceremony - 10:00 a.m.   

Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP, is a distinguished leader of American medicine. In 2017, Dr. Riley became the 17th president of the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center, one of four academic health centers in SUNY’s 64-campus system. He brings his extensive experience as a physician and leader to the renowned academic medical center where faculty invented the MRI machine, performed New York State's first successful open-heart surgery, and won the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Downstate also serves the people of Brooklyn, New York, an urban residential area of more than 2.5 million residents that is also one of the most diverse communities in the nation.

As an academic primary care general internist, Dr. Riley has  25 years of senior level management, policy, and leadership experiences in academic medicine, patient care, research administration, academic health center administration, health care management, health policy, biotechnology, the corporate sector, government service, advocacy, and organized medicine. Prior to joining SUNY Downstate, Dr. Riley was clinical professor of medicine and adjunct professor of Healthcare Management and Health Policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He also served as the 10th president and chief executive officer as well as professor of medicine at Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s oldest and largest historically black academic health science centers dedicated to educating physicians, dentists, researchers, and health policy experts.

Dr. Riley earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Morehouse School of Medicine. He also holds a Master of Public Health degree in health systems management from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, a Master's in Business Administration from Rice University's Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology with a concentration in medical anthropology from Yale University.

He is an elected member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, the Sullivan Alliance to Diversify the Health Professions, and many other professional, civic and community organizations. He is President Emeritus of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Riley has received numerous awards and honors.

Mount St. Joseph proudly presents the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Dr. Wayne J. Riley for his admirable accomplishments and servant leadership in medicine that has improved healthcare in America.

Afternoon Ceremony - 2:30 p.m.

Chris Downie has turned his life-long commitment to personal improvement into a successful entrepreneurial company with a passion to help others find their own meaningful goals.

Mr. Downie is the Founder/CEO of SparkPeople, one of the largest online digital health companies in the world with approximately 8 to 10 million unique visitors per month. His book, The Spark: The 28-Day Breakthrough Plan for Losing Weight, Getting Fit, and Transforming Your Life, a New York Times Best Seller, focuses on the success story of a man who now gives back to help people reach their goals.

Getting to this point started in high school, when Mr. Downie, a self-described shy kid, set out to find ways to conquer his anxiety. He started using fitness, then goal setting, leadership, and other skills to build his own personal improvement plan that integrated the best from health and fitness experts with renowned experts on goal setting and behavioral change.

As he refined this program, Mr. Downie found the drive to leave his accounting position with Procter & Gamble to start an online auction website in 1996 with a friend. Named Up4Sale, the company grew to become eBay’s leading competitor, and it was acquired by eBay in 1998.

After reaching many of his own goals, Mr. Downie decided to do more to help others find their success. In 2000, he started a company called SparkPeople with a mission to “spark” people to reach their goals using health and fitness as a springboard to success in all areas of life. Headquartered in Cincinnati, SparkPeople is one of the largest digital health companies in the world. It offers resources and information to inspire members to “build healthy and sustainable habits.” Mr. Downie is not a typical CEO. Known as “SparkGuy,” Mr. Downie interacts with members through letters and social media to celebrate their victories and motivate their efforts. Today, Sparkpeople boasts 8 million free memberships from 150 countries.

The shy kid from Cincinnati is today a world-renowned motivational speaker and presenter. He has been featured in local and national media with his message of fitness, goal setting and leadership. As an investor, Mr. Downie also continues his entrepreneurial drive to help other companies.

Mount St. Joseph University proudly presents the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Mr. Downie for his passion, entrepreneurship, and motivation to spark others to reach their goals.


Special parking arrangements have been made for Saturday. Members of the Department of Public Safety and Division of Institutional Advancement request that everyone honor the following arrangements:

• Parking behind the Harrington Center is reserved for honorees, special guests, board members and guests with disabilities.
• Others may park in the West Parking Lot. The first driveway to the West Lot will be closed, so everyone will need to access the lot from the second entrance, off of Delhi Road near the Motherhouse.
• Parking will also be available in the Parking Garage at the corner of Delhi and Neeb Roads.

Commencement is a wonderful celebration of the accomplishments of our graduates and special guests. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Mount St. Joseph University is an undergraduate and graduate Catholic university that provides an interdisciplinary liberal arts and professional curriculum emphasizing values, service and social responsibility.