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April 04, 2022

La Roche University to Host 56th Commencement on May 7

PITTSBURGH, Apr. 4, 2022 – La Roche University will celebrate its 56th commencement on Saturday, May 7 with morning and afternoon ceremonies on campus in the Kerr Fitness & Sports Center.

The ceremony for graduates of the Management and Nursing & Education Divisions will begin at 10 a.m., followed by an afternoon session at 2 p.m. for graduates of the Design, Humanities and Natural & Behavioral Sciences Divisions. A live stream of both events will be available at

LRU Distinguished Alumna Kathryn Jolley Madej ’81, a retired principal for DRS Architects Inc., will deliver the commencement address and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration.

“We take special pride in presenting Ms. Jolley Madej with an honorary degree,” Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D., president of La Roche, said. “Since her graduation from La Roche in 1981, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her alma mater and its students, and I am confident that her unique perspective will inspire all of our 2022 graduates.”

Before retirement in 2018, Ms. Jolley Madej built a distinguished design and business career spanning 37 years at DRS Architects Inc., a 30-person architecture, interior design and master planning firm. Throughout her career, Ms. Jolley Madej led design projects for various companies and organizations in the Greater Pittsburgh region, and shared credit for more than 15 awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

A student employer and mentor, Ms. Jolley Madej has hired La Roche graduates for interior design staff and developed internship positions for students. In 2011 she and her husband established the Kathryn A. Jolley and Gregory P. Madej Scholarship, awarded annually to worthy interior design students.  

In 2006 she joined the La Roche Board of Trustees and later became the first alumna to be elected chair of the Board in 2015. She was elected trustee emerita in 2021.

An adjunct professor in the La Roche Interior Design Department, Ms. Jolley Madej taught coursework in business procedures and interior office systems. Additionally, she served as chair of the La Roche Interior Design Advisory Board and assisted in establishing an endowed scholarship funded by the board.

A resident of Washington County and active in the Pittsburgh design community, she served twice as president of the local chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, and as board member for the following: the Washington County Historical Society, the Society for Marketing Professionals, Commercial Real Estate Women and Ignite!

Ms. Jolley Madej earned a Bachelor of Science in interior design from La Roche in 1981, and her MBA from Waynesburg University in 2003. She is an inaugural member of the La Roche Distinguished Alumni Circle, which honors graduates for their outstanding professional achievements and community service.

Visit for more information about La Roche’s commencement events.

About La Roche University: A private liberal arts university in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, La Roche University offers 66 undergraduate programs of study, six master’s degrees and one doctoral degree, with particular strengths in education, business, criminal justice, psychology, and health and medical sciences as well as interior design and graphic design. This residential university provides a vibrant campus community for nearly 1,300 men and women enjoying 30-plus student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. Founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche University embraces its Catholic heritage while welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. With a legacy of social justice and a commitment to international exchange, La Roche University educates students to be lifelong learners and achievers in an increasingly diverse and global society.