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May 06, 2023

La Roche University Holds 57th Commencement

PITTSBURGH, May 6, 2023 – Today La Roche University honored graduates at the 57th commencement in the Kerr Fitness & Sports Center. 

The University conferred 378 degrees, including 167 master’s degrees, 206 bachelor’s degrees and five at the associate level. Twenty-four countries were represented in the 2023 graduating class.  

Acting President and Provost Howard J. Ishiyama, Ph.D., told the graduates, “In some ways the diploma you have is just a piece of paper, but in all the important ways, it is much more than that. Not everyone gets this chance. How that opportunity manifests in your lifetime is up to you. Help others, believe in yourself, raise a beautiful family, have a wonderful career, whatever you choose. Remember what you learned at La Roche, and use it well.” 

Father Paul Abernathy, an Orthodox Christian priest and the founding CEO of the Neighborhood Resilience Project, delivered the commencement address and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.  

Father Abernathy encouraged graduates to face challenges with love. Quoting Corinthians 1 16:14, he said “Let all that you do be done in love.”  

He continued, “The most important thing you can do in your whole life will be to love. Whatever you do, do it with love. Let love define your work.”  

During the ceremony, La Roche announced two graduates as the 2023 recipients of the President’s Awards for Leadership and Scholarship: 

Leticia Alcarez Romero de Tejado
Villanueva de la Canada, Spain
Traditional Undergraduate Recipient 

Tashai Thompson
Kingston, Jamaica
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. 




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.