College announces commencement speaker, degree and award recipients
Observer Staff Report | Thursday, April 14, 2022
Theologian M. Shawn Copeland will deliver the commencement address for the Saint Mary’s class of 2022, the College announced Thursday.
Copeland is professor emerita of systematic theology in the Department of Theology and the program in African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College. She was the first African American and first African American woman to serve as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and has spoken at Saint Mary’s before as the 2007 Madeleva Lecturer.
College President Katie Conboy praised Copeland’s work as remarkable.
“As a Catholic theologian, she has influenced generations of students, lay people, and clergy across the world,” Conboy said in the release.
Copeland will receive an honorary degree from the College alongside class of ‘85 alumna Mary L. Burke, who has been on the Board of Trustees for 16 years.
“Her strong bonds and profound love for this institution and for a Holy Cross education has made Burke one of the College’s strongest advocates and most faithful servants,” the release said.
In addition, Burke has served on the Madeleva Society Steering Committee, Belles Varsity Club and the Mother Pauline Society.
Also at the commencement ceremony, the President’s Medal will be presented to Kathyrn Schneider, the recently retired director of St. Margaret’s House in South Bend. The release noted that Schneider has helped create a decades-long partnership between the College and St. Margaret’s House.