ϲʹ Cross College’s 57th Commencement

Decorated graduation hat

ϲʹ Cross College will celebrate the 57th Commencement at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2024, on the ϲʹ Cross College campus. Families are invited and must have a ticket to participate. The event will be live-streamed for those who cannot attend in person.

Kerry Alys Robinson, a veteran in Catholic nonprofit leadership, was named Catholic Charities USA president and CEO on July 25, 2023. Robinson is only the second layperson and second woman to lead the U.S. Catholic Church’s largest charitable network. Robinson joined CCUSA from Leadership Roundtable, a Catholic nonprofit organization that promotes best practices and accountability in the management, finances, communications, and human resources development of the Catholic Church in the U.S. Robinson began her tenure at CCUSA on August 23. She replaced Dominican Sister Donna Markham, the first woman to lead CCUSA, who retired last summer after nine years at the helm.

Please join us for the Baccalaureate Mass celebration at 4:30 p.m. on May 17, followed by a social. All faiths are welcome.

Carmen (Stephanie) Nunez ’24 is this year’s valedictorian.

ϲʹ Cross College has named four Salutatorians, each representing one of the four areas of our academic departments:

Kyle Kochanowski ’23 in Business, Neema Kwangu ’24 in humanities, Morgan Maggine ’24 in Natural and Quantitative Sciences, and Jacqueline Milkowski ’24, in the Social Sciences.

Below is information on class rings, graduation announcements, diploma frames, and senior week activities.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Ceremony Rehearsal (Mandatory)
4:00 p.m.
Line-up in Ave Brew Cafe

Friday, May 17, 2024

Baccalaureate Mass
4:30 p.m.
St. Joseph Chapel

Graduate Reception
5:30 p.m.
Vincent Atrium

Saturday, May 18, 2024

56th Commencement Ceremony
2:00 p.m.
McKenna Arena

Guests with tickets will be able to enter the arena at 1:00 p.m.

Kerry Alys Robinson, a veteran in Catholic nonprofit leadership, was named Catholic Charities USA president and CEO on July 25, 2023. Robinson is only the second layperson and second woman to lead the U.S. Catholic Church’s largest charitable network.

Robinson joined CCUSA from Leadership Roundtable, a Catholic nonprofit organization that promotes best practices and accountability in the management, finances, communications, and human resources development of the Catholic Church in the U.S.

Robinson began her tenure at CCUSA on August 23. She replaced Dominican Sister Donna Markham, the first woman to lead CCUSA, who retired last summer after nine years at the helm.

Neal Black, Chair of the CCUSA Board of Directors, highlighted in a statement Robinson’s career-long devotion to serving and bettering the church, adding that both the organization and those it serves “will greatly benefit from Kerry’s extraordinary passion, expertise and insight.”

Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States who has known Robinson for years, said in a statement that Robinson brings both a love for Christ and wide experience to the role. “She is a woman of the Church and brings to CCUSA her love for Christ and wide experience of engagement with the Gospel, particularly concern for the poor and vulnerable,” Pierre said in a statement. “Kerry has a great ability to build relationships. I am sure her many gifts and talents will further the CCUSA mission and bring hope to the many people served.”

Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, the episcopal liaison to CCUSA, added in a statement that the organization is “truly blessed” to welcome Robinson as its next CEO. “No doubt Kerry’s vast experience and skills will be an asset to both the organization and those whom it serves,” Dewane said. “Please join me in prayer that the Lord may grant her wisdom and zeal as she takes up her new leadership responsibilities.”

Robinson had been with Leadership Roundtable for 18 years. First as its founding executive director, then as global ambassador and as executive partner. Leadership Roundtable announced that in light of her new appointment, Robinson will transition to serve on the organization’s Board of Directors.

Robinson is also the current director of the Opus Prize Foundation, which offers an annual million-dollar prize for faith-based social entrepreneurship. Prior to her current roles, Robinson served as the director of development for Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel and Center at Yale University. While at Yale, Robinson also co-founded 2 ESTEEM, a program that prepares Catholic college students for leadership in their future parish communities.

Robinson is also active in Catholic philanthropy. She’s a member of the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities and Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, and has been an advisor to and trustee of more than 25 grantmaking foundations, charitable nonprofits and family philanthropies. She served for 15 years on the national committee for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Robinson joined CCUSA amidst a period of growth with Markham at the helm. The organization currently represents the interests of Catholic Charities’ 167 member agencies that serve more
than 15 million vulnerable people annually at close to 3,900 locations across the country and its five territories.

Robinson has a B.A. degree from Georgetown University and an M.A.R. degree from Yale Divinity School. She and her husband, Dr. Michael Cappello, professor of medicine and director of the World Fellows Program at Yale University, have two children, Christopher and Sophia

Br. James Leik C.S.C.

Brother James Leik, C.S.C. has an impressive and multifaceted career that spans over five decades, primarily at ϲʹ Cross College in Notre Dame, Indiana. As a co-developer and significant force behind the establishment of the college, Brother James has dedicated his life to advancing education in liberal arts. His tenure at ϲʹ Cross began in 1967, where he initially served as a professor in economics and business law. His profound commitment is evident from his roles ranging from his current role as full-time archivist to acting as the President during a crucial period of transition following the sudden demise of Brother John Driscoll, co-developer of the College.

Brother James’s administrative knowledge was critical during his time as the Corporate Treasurer and Director of Institutional Advancement at ϲʹ Cross. He developed and maintained the college’s accounting systems from scratch, ensuring fiscal responsibility and resourceful budget management that catered to nearly 400 students and managed a dedicated faculty and staff. His leadership was instrumental in both operational and academic facets, steering the college through expansions and the development of long-range planning initiatives that have significantly shaped its current stature. Beyond his extensive professional roles, James holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in Economics from the University of Illinois. His early academic pursuits were complemented by significant practical experience gained through service in the U.S. Air Force and as an instructor in various high schools before his tenure at ϲʹ Cross.

A devoted Religious Brother with the Congregation of ϲʹ Cross since 1957, James’s journey reflects a blend of devout service, academic excellence, and a keen aptitude for administration and leadership in educational settings. “I chose to serve my Creator through developing my interior life and using my talents best by entering as a religious with the Brothers of ϲʹ Cross,” Brother James said. “My commitment, assisted by grace and prayer, has not wavered.”

Terry McFadden

A Story of Success and Tradition Terry McFadden, a fixture in Michiana’s broadcasting landscape, concluded his illustrious career at WNDU-TV on March 1, 2024. Known for his sharp, matter-of-fact reporting style, Terry quickly became a beloved figure in television journalism after joining the team in 1982. His ability to engage with the community and his unerring journalistic integrity made him one of the region’s most respected voices.

Born and raised in South Bend, Terry is a product of St. Joseph’s Grade School and St. Joseph’s High School, and he further honed his intellect at ϲʹ Cross College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a Master of Arts degree in communications from the University of Notre Dame, underscoring his deep roots in the educational and cultural fabric of the area. Throughout his career,

Terry has been honored with multiple first-place awards from the Indiana Associated Press and the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists. His dedication to the craft was further recognized with the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award, a testament to his excellence in broadcast journalism. Terry’s life outside the newsroom is as full and rich as his professional endeavors. Married to Laurie Plant, a fellow award-winning journalist and current Director of Student Media at Notre Dame, Terry is a family man through and through. The couple, along with their three sons—all Notre Dame graduates—enjoy spending their summers fishing and boating at their family cottage in Pierceton.

In his leisure time, Terry enjoys working on a plethora of home improvement projects and his prized possession: a 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback he bought while he was a freshman at ϲʹ Cross Terry’s legacy at ϲʹ Cross College is multifaceted; not only did he work in the campus kitchen, but he also participated in Brother Tom Moser’s collegiate labor crew, contributing to various campus beautification projects. His deep connection to ϲʹ Cross is a family tradition, with his lineage, including his mother and all four siblings, having attended the college—a tradition upheld by his son, Sean, before his transfer to Notre Dame.

As Terry McFadden steps away from the camera, his influence on the community and the field of journalism continues to resonate. Michiana retains not only a steadfast reporter but also a community pillar whose commitment to service, integrity, and dedication remains an enduring part of his legacy. With a career that spanned over four decades, Terry leaves behind a trail of professional excellence and personal impact that will continue to inspire and guide future generations.

Pamela Veldman

Pam Veldman is co-founder of Surestep and Transcend Orthotics & Prosthetics. She was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana and continues to reside and build her communities there today. Over the years, Pam has worn many hats in business, in family, and in faith. She’s been a manager, a friend, a teacher, an innovator, a philanthropist, and most importantly a mother and grandmother.  Today she serves as the director of special projects for Hanger Clinic.

Pam attended ϲʹ Cross College, studying humanities and psychology. She applied her studies to help grow her and her husband, Bernie’s, family business from a four-person operation to one with over 200 employees and multiple locations. From its onset, Pam and Bernie knew they wanted to build a business with a positive culture and an environment that encouraged their employees to think outside the box.

It’s this mentality that allowed them to create a product that would improve the quality of life for countless children, allowing them to walk, run, and jump. Pam considers the children they’ve served with care and compassion and the lives they’ve impacted her greatest professional accomplishment. In 2016, Pam and Bernie were able to transition the company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan giving ownership to the people who helped them transform the industry.

In all her roles, Pam has led with God by her side. She is a devoted member of her parish, St. Pius, is vice president of the South Bend-Elkhart Chapter of Legatus and serves on the board for the Beacon Health Foundation.   Pam and Bernie have five children and five grandchildren. They are her greatest accomplishment.

Terron Phillips Ph.D

Dr. Terron Phillips, born and raised in South Bend, IN, is an alumnus of ϲʹ Cross College where he studied History, Philosophy, and Political Studies. As a student at ϲʹ Cross, Dr. Phillips split his time between his studies, working in the office of admissions, being an active member of the University of Notre Dame Bands, and starting and leading the ϲʹ Cross Pep Band at Men and Women’s home basketball and hockey games. His fondest memories at ϲʹ Cross include being the first ϲʹ Cross student to be named Notre Dame’s Most Outstanding Band Member of the Year, writing the ϲʹ Cross fight song, “March On Forward”, and working closely with prospective students throughout the admission process as an intern in the office of admissions.

After graduating from ϲʹ Cross in 2014, Dr. Phillips served in several enrollment management roles at ϲʹ Cross College and the University of Notre Dame where he worked to increase access to postsecondary educational opportunities for all students, but with a heightened focus on students from historically marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds. His work in college admission and retention deepened his passion for increasing educational access and student success in higher education, consequently leading toward pursuing graduate studies in the field.

Dr. Phillips went on to earn his master’s in Higher Education Administration from Louisiana State University in 2018 and his doctorate in Educational Studies from Purdue University in 2023. He currently works as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, teaching courses in education law, education finance, and education leadership. Additionally, Dr. Phillips is the co-founder of Future Matters, a nonprofit organization that provides mentorship and support for middle school and high school students toward their attainment of postsecondary educational and career success. Dr. Phillips’ research, which has been published in several academic journals, focuses on the interplay of cultural identity and educational systems, with an emphasis on culturally responsive postsecondary educational environments.

PARKING

Guests may park in any ϲʹ Cross College campus student parking lot, with the exception of any barricaded sections (Pfeil Center lot and commuter lot).

Parking spots have been reserved for those guests with special parking needs.  Please contact ϲʹ Cross Security for details.

SUGGESTED ATTIRE

Appropriate dress is business to business casual attire.  Please no jeans, sweats, athletic shoes.  Note that graduates will ascend and descend stairs, so flats and low heals are recommended.

ROBING AND LINE-UP

Please report to the Vincent Lounge / Ave Brew Café at 1:15 pm. for robing and ALPHABETICAL line-up.  Your guests are invited to be seated in the Pfeil Center at this time.

Each guest with a ceremony ticket will be allowed to be seated at 1:00 p.m.; guests without tickets will be invited to enter the McKenna arena once the graduation procession has entered the gym.  Un-ticketed guests may be seated as space permits, or take standing room only.

Do not bring valuables, as there will be no secure place for purses, backpacks, etc.

Graduates should wear their retainable cap and gown, and Stole of Gratitude.

Caps may be decorated in a tasteful manner.

CAP TASSELS will have the ϲʹ Cross shield attached. The 2023 tassel dangle has purposely been removed and may be reattached to your tassel AFTER commencement. Tassels should be placed on the RIGHT side of the cap for procession.  Once degrees are conferred graduates will be instructed to move tassel to the left side of cap.

Graduates will line up alphabetically, in a single line, behind the Registrar, flag bearers, and student presenters.  Process to the Pfeil Center.

CEREMONY

Names of each graduate will be taped on the graduate chairs in the Pfeil Center; please have a seat in the chair with your name. 

The Registrar will invite each row of graduates to stand at the appropriate time, to proceed to the stage.  Names will be read alphabetically.  Proceed across the stage, stop for one moment, receive diploma from college president, look off stage, and smile —your photo will taken while you shake hands with Dr. Clark.  Descend from the stage and reclaim your seat.

During the ceremony, Dr. Griffin will instruct graduates to look upward toward the running track for group / class photo to be taken.

Looking for official class rings and jewelry?  to view and order class rings.

 to view and order graduation announcements.

 to view and order diploma frames.