More Than 800 to Graduate From Rockhurst UniversityMay 2, 2011

More than 800 graduates will prepare to make their mark on the world when they cross the commencement stage to earn a degree from Rockhurst University Saturday, May 14. The ceremony begins with an academic procession at 1 p.m. at Municipal Auditorium, 301 W. 13th St.

Among the graduates are 11 students who have decided to commit a year or more of full-time service work to agencies such as the Peace Corps, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and the Alumni Service Corps.

In keeping with the student-centered focus at Rockhurst, two degree candidates will give a commencement address: Mary Claire Karcher, St. Louis, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy; and Christopher Robl, Ellinwood, Kan., who will graduate with a doctor of physical therapy degree.

Following the ceremony, at approximately 3:30 p.m., graduates will take the “Hawk Walk” to the Kansas City Power & Light District. A drill team will lead the way as the academic procession leaves Municipal Auditorium and heads toward the district’s interior courtyard area for an hour-long reception.

Baccalaureate Mass, an important part of Rockhurst’s commencement activities, will take place at 3 p.m. Friday, May 13, at St. Francis Xavier Church, 52nd Street and Troost Avenue, across the street from the campus. At 2:30 p.m. students and faculty, wearing academic regalia, will walk from the Rockhurst campus to the church for Mass. Following Mass, students, families and well-wishers will gather on campus in the courtyard by the bell tower for a reception.

Rockhurst University is one of 28 Catholic, Jesuit universities in the United States. It seeks to challenge students while providing a supportive environment for intellectual and personal growth. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Rockhurst among the top Midwest Master’s Universities and Forbes ranks it 131 on its America’s Best Colleges List. Rockhurst is the only institution in the Kansas City area to have earned the community engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

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