St. Bonaventure University


165th Commencement
Sunday, May 18, 2025



Sunday, May 12, 2024

St. Bonaventure celebrates graduates at 164th Commencement Exercises

Watch a recap of Commencement 2024 
Technical difficulties with audio prevent us from posting the entire ceremony. Our apologies.
Get a PDF of the Commencement Program

Delta CEO Ed Bastian, ’79, speaks at SBU’s 164th annual Commencement Exercises

Pictured_Commencement Speaker 2024 Ed Bastian, Class of 1979
Pictured_Commencement Speaker 2024 Ed Bastian, Class of 1979

For all the success he’s had in the business world, Ed Bastian reminded St. Bonaventure University graduates Sunday of what’s most important in life.

“I have found life is most enriched by living a life of service. Service to your family, service to your employees and co-workers, service to your customers, service to your church, and service to your community,” said Bastian, Class of 1979 and CEO of Delta Airlines since 2016.

“We were not put on this earth to be takers, to be of service primarily to ourselves. We find our greatest rewards by assisting others to realize their opportunities, their potential — to be of service to them.”

Bastian, a 25-year Delta veteran, was the keynote speaker at the university’s 164th Commencement Exercises, which recognized more than 700 students who earned graduate or undergraduate degrees. He previously received an honorary doctorate from SBU in 2008.

Read the complete news release


Fr. Kevin Mullen, O.F.M., receives honorary doctorate

Fr. Kevin Mullen, O.F.M., received an honorary doctorate at the ceremony.Pictured_Fr. Kevin Mullen, O.F.M., receives an honorary doctorate

The former Siena College president (2007-2014) was, since 2014, the provincial minister of Holy Name Province until it merged with five other U.S. Franciscan provinces to become the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe in October 2023. A trustee of St. Bonaventure since 2014, his term on SBU’s board expires this spring.

Michael Hickey, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, read the citation presenting Mullen for the honor.

“During his time on our Board, Father Kevin offered the kind of invaluable insight and wisdom only a person with such vast experience in higher education and Franciscan life could provide to a university deeply committed to its Franciscan mission,” Hickey said.


Maya Henderson addresses classmates at Commencement

Maya Henderson knows that her graduating class is special — historical, even — which is why she was proud to serve as the student speaker for the Class of 2024.Pictured_Commencement Student Speaker 2024 Maya Henderson

Like her fellow graduates, Henderson ended high school and began college during the scariest and most isolating moments of the global COVID-19 pandemic. As a group, they shared the burden of mask mandates and social distancing but experienced few of the fun first-year moments normal for college life.

In her address, Henderson, a Political Science major from Orchard Park, asked her classmates to remember how Bonaventure helped shape them.

“Even though we might not grow like trees on the outside, we share more similarities than you may think. Every experience in life is a branch, every memory a leaf and every connection another new root,” Henderson said. “It’s no coincidence that our very own St. Francis of Assisi dedicated his sainthood to cultivating a relationship with the natural  world. No matter how far we get off the ground, we will always grow first from our roots.”

Learn more about Maya Henderson


Tharini Nagarkar and Connor Raine named Ideal Bonaventure Students for the Class of 2024

Tharini Nagarkar, a Health and Society major from Danville, California, and Connor Raine, a Sports Management major from Grand Island, New York, have been named the Ideal Bonaventure Students for the Class of 2024.Pictured_Ideal Bonaventure Students 2024

The Ideal Bonaventure Students exemplify the spirit of St. Bonaventure and the ideals of St. Francis through their demonstrated commitment to community service and academic excellence. They are selected by a committee that considers nominations from the campus community.

Angela LaGrou of Marilla, New York, and Richard “Rich” Williams of Randolph, New Jersey, were selected as honorable mention Ideal Bonaventure Students. LaGrou is a Behavioral Neuroscience major and Spanish minor major. Williams is a Broadcast Journalism major.

Read the full press release


Ceremonies and events leading up to Commencement

Fireworks light the sky at Friday's Candlelight Ceremony

Pictured_2024 Candlelight Ceremony with fireworks

View the complete Candlelight photo gallery


ROTC cadets commissioned as second lieutenants

Graduating seniors who served as cadets in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at St. Bonaventure University were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army on Friday, May 10.Pictured_2024 ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

The commissioning ceremony, held at the university’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, was followed by the Silver Dollar Salute, a traditional event in which each newly commissioned officer hands a silver dollar to the first soldier who salutes them. Cadets choose someone who was instrumental in their upbringing, education or training for this honor.

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View the photo gallery


Professors Medrano, Pientka and Warner honored by peers


Three St. Bonaventure University faculty members were presented with awards of excellence at the university’s annual Staff & Faculty Excellence Awards celebration on Thursday, April 25.Pictured_Professors Medrano_Pientka_and Warner

Dr. José Manuel Medrano, assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultural Studies, received the Junior Faculty Award; Dr. James Pientka, professor of Physics and department chair, received the Professional Excellence in Teaching Award; and Jeffrey Warner, adjunct instructor of Spanish, received the Adjunct Faculty Award.

Read the full news release

Individual school honors and awards ceremonies

DePerro School of Health Professions (April 23)
School of Arts and Sciences (April 29)
School of Education (May 2)
Jandoli School of Communication (May 3)
School of Business (May 3)

Commencement Week photo galleries