May 14, 2012

University Communications

Commencement This Saturday

Saint Louis University will celebrate its 2012 Commencement at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 19, at Chaifetz Arena, #1 South Compton Ave.

Best-selling author, commentator and humorist James Martin, S.J., will address this year's graduates.

SLU will bestow honorary degrees on Martin as well as His Beatitude Bechara Peter Rai, Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church; longtime SLU professor Dr. Paul A. Young; and local philanthropists Ann and Doug Brown.

For family and friends unable to attend this year's Commencement, the University will stream the ceremony live on the Internet. To learn more, visit

His Beatitude also will celebrate this year's Baccalaureate Mass, an annual Mass celebrating graduates. It begins at 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, in Chaifetz Arena.

The Mass will be in the Maronite Rite, which is in full communion with the Latin Rite and will feature prayers and hymns in Aramaic. All Catholics in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church will be invited to receive communion.

Below is more info about this year's honorary degree recipients.

James Martin, S.J.

James Martin, S.J.
The official chaplain of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, James Martin, S.J., has sought to make to make 500-year-old Ignatian spirituality relevant for modern audiences.

His books include My Life with the Saints: The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and his latest work, Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life.

As Martin's stature as an author has grown, many leading news organizations have sought his perspective, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, NPR and PBS.

A former corporate executive who joined the priesthood later in life, Martin also serves as the culture editor of America Magazine, writing regular columns about Catholic issues.

His Beatitude Bechara Peter Rai

His Beatitude Bechara Peter Rai
As the leader of nearly 15 million Maronite Catholics worldwide, His Beatitude Bechara Peter Rai, is one of the most significant religious figures in the world.

Enthroned the 77th Maronite Patriarch to lead the Eastern Church, Rai has worked tirelessly for peace in the Middle East, reaching out to Muslim, Jewish, Christian and other religious communities in the region. His motto has been "Communion and Love."

Rai also has a longstanding commitment to Catholic education. He is an alumnus of Collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour, a private French-language, Jesuit college located in an eastern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. He taught at three different Catholic universities before establishing Notre Dame University - Louaize, an independent Catholic university in Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon.

From 1982 to 1986, he presided over the Court of Appeal of the Maronite Tribunal. Then, in 1990, Pope John Paul II named him as the Coordinator of the Synod for Lebanon, a post he held until 1995. In 2003, he was elected secretary of the Maronite Synod, and in 2009, he became President of the Lebanese Episcopal Commission for the Media.

Doug and Ann Brown

Doug and Ann Brown
Noted philanthropists, Doug and Ann Brown have devoted themselves to using their successes to help others.

A SLU alumnus, Doug Brown was an executive at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. When he retired in 1993, he began a second career as a business consultant, donating the resulting income to charity. He also worked with SLU, civic officials and other business leaders to found Habitat for Neighborhood Business, an innovative effort designed to bring local small-business operators back to economically distressed neighborhoods.

Ann Brown is an accomplished artist, whose work has been shown at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art and is held in numerous corporate and private collections. She established the Ann Brown Children's Fund to provide art scholarships for at-risk youth. She also has devoted her time to fostering and promoting ALIVE (Alternatives to Living in Violent Environments), an organization that provides counseling, support and opportunities for people struggling in unhealthy relationships.

Paul A. Young, Ph.D.

Paul A. Young, Ph.D.
The chairman emeritus of SLU's Center for Anatomical Science and Education, Paul A. Young, Ph.D., taught at SLU for more than 50 years. A two-time graduate of SLU, Young joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy in 1957. During his long career, he educated 80 to 90 percent of all living alumni from the School of Medicine.

He earned numerous honors from his students during his career, including two Golden Apple Awards and five Teaching Awards for Outstanding Dedication and Excellence. He also was the first recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Academy of Science of St. Louis, which inducted him as a fellow in 2011.

In 2010, SLU named Young Hall in his honor. The building is home to Practical Anatomy and Surgical Education, which evolved from the Practical Anatomy Workshop, an initiative founded by Young's son, Paul H. Young, M.D., a clinical professor at SLU and alumnus of the School of Medicine.

For more information about Commencement, Baccalaureate Mass and Precommencement Ceremonies, visit

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