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Notre Dame of Maryland University Confers Emerita Status on President Mary Pat Seurkamp as She Presides Over Historic 2012 Commencement Ceremony

May 26, 2012

Notre Dame of Maryland University celebrated a historic commencement on May 26, its first as a University and the final official event of Dr. Mary Pat Seurkamp’s 15-year presidency. In recognition of her outstanding legacy of service to Notre Dame and to higher education, the Board of Trustees conferred upon Dr. Seurkamp the honor and distinction of president emerita.

“On this occasion, the last formal academic event of Dr. Mary Pat Seurkamp’s presidency, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the Board of Trustees has conferred the honor and the designation of president emerita to Dr. Seurkamp,” said Board of Trustees Chair Patricia J. Mitchell as she made the surprise announcement. “When we look at all that has been accomplished during her years of innovation and growth, we see her immeasurable commitment to this great institution and the indelible legacy she leaves.”

Commencement speaker CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus urged the 750 graduating students to take risks personally and professionally in order to achieve their dreams. “Don’t think you can stay in your comfort zone,” he said. “Your comfort zone will desert you early and often.” In addition to winning six Emmy awards at CBS Sports, during Mr. McManus’ tenure as president of CBS News, the division garnered more major awards than the news division of any other network, including the coveted Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award in January 2010 for “CBS Reports: Children of the Recession.” He advised students to willingly accept entry level positions and outshine their peers through diligence, creativity and ambition.

Along with nurse-practitioner, philanthropist and social activist Mary Catherine Bunting, Mr. McManus received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Theirs are the first diplomas awarded under the name “Notre Dame of Maryland University.”

Sr. Kathleen Feeley, SSND, former president of Notre Dame, presented the degree to Mr. McManus, saying, “In Sean McManus, we find an individual whose lifelong habits of excellence have brought him professional success on the global stage and in personal quality of life. Sean’s spirit of excellence, sustained by his faith and infused with his wit, inspires us and persuades us that we, too, can cultivate this habit that has served him so well.”

Dr. Michelle Fritsch, professor and chair of the clinical and administrative sciences department of the School of Pharmacy in the G. Avery Bunting Hall, introduced Miss Bunting, who was honored for her lifelong commitment to the education and healthcare of the Baltimore community. “In Mary Catherine Bunting, we find a faith-filled woman whose life of loving service and quiet generosity indeed gives glory,” said Dr. Fritsch.

Three hundred forty-six graduates were awarded bachelor’s degrees at the ceremony, held at the Baltimore Convention Center.  Three hundred eighty-two received master’s degrees, 10 received the Certificate of Advanced Study in Education (CASE) and 12 were awarded doctoral degrees. Brianna January, Class of 2012, spoke on behalf of graduates.

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Notre Dame of Maryland University, founded as a Catholic liberal arts college in 1895 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, educates nearly 3,000 women and men enrolled in degree and certificate programs at its main campus in north Baltimore and at satellite centers in Maryland. The University encompasses a distinguished Women’s College, the first Catholic institution of its kind in America; a College of Adult Undergraduate Studies; a College of Graduate Studies, and an English language Institute, and includes Schools of Arts and Sciences, Education, Nursing and Pharmacy. Rich in tradition, Notre Dame provides students with opportunities in research, study abroad and service to the global community. Visit www.ndm.edu.