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May 07, 2022

La Roche University Holds 56th Commencement

PITTSBURGH, May 7, 2022 – Today La Roche University honored graduates at two in-person ceremonies celebrating the 56th commencement.

The University conferred 397 degrees, including 110 master’s degrees, 281 bachelor’s degrees and six at the associate level. More than 80 students from the first three cohorts of La Roche’s Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing program graduated today.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Howard J. Ishiyama, Ph.D., told the graduates, “I hope you make lasting friends throughout your lifetime. I hope that you feel the joy of raising a happy family. I hope that you pass on the wisdom that you have gained to others. I hope, one day, you feel the pride for someone you care about—the way that we all do at this very moment for you.”

La Roche Distinguished Alumna Kathryn Jolley Madej ’81, a retired principal for DRS Architects Inc., delivered the commencement address and received an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration.

Drawing from her personal experience as a student at La Roche and as a business owner at DRS Architects, Ms. Jolley Madej encouraged graduates to set specific goals to make their dreams come true and to become lifelong learners through travel, documentaries, podcasts and continuing to read books.

Noting the challenges and frustrations of everyday life in the 21st century, Ms. Jolly Madej encouraged graduates to simply “do their part.” Quoting author and trauma specialist Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ms. Jolley Madej said, “Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”  

During the ceremony, La Roche announced two graduates as the 2022 recipients of the President’s Awards for Leadership and Scholarship:

Ammiel Francis of Frederiksted, Virgin Islands
Traditional Undergraduate Recipient

Michelle Bischak of Coraopolis
Returning Undergraduate Recipient

Recipients of the President’s Awards for Leadership and Scholarship Award exemplify the values and characteristics of the La Roche mission statement, have exemplary academic records, and are leaders on campus, in the workplace and in the community.

The University also awarded the Woman of Providence Award to Sister Janet Folkl, CDP, whose life of service, as part of the mission of the Congregation of Divine Providence, is a compelling example of God’s Providence made visible.



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, nursing, 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.