By Natalie Gates, Staff Writer
This year’s 64th annual commencement ceremony will feature keynote speaker Dr. George A. Lopez. Lopez, a 1972 graduate of St. John Fisher College, will address more than 1,000 students graduating with their bachelor’s or master’s degrees, in addition to graduate diplomas.
After graduating from Fisher, Lopez received his master’s and P.h.D from Syracuse University. He founded the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Throughout his 40-year career, he become an expert in peacebuilding, human rights, economic sanctions and the United Nations. He has been to 20 countries with this work.
Lopez has co-authored or co-edited 11 books and has written 45 articles and book chapters. Some which include: The Sanctions Decade: Assessing UN Strategies in the 1990s and Putting Teeth in the Tiger: Improving the Effectiveness of Arms Embargoes. He has been featured on several international news outlets because of his commentary on multiple editorials of peace, human rights, economic sanctions or violence.
Senior Emily Jeffries looks forward to this year’s commencement speaker.
“I think it’s really awesome that we have someone speaking to us this year that graduated from Fisher and has gone on to do so many amazing things,” said Jeffries. “I am really excited to hear what he has to say and I’m hoping he will have some good advice for us seniors as we venture into the real world.”
Lopez has received many awards including the 2017 Distinguished Scholar Award – Peace Studies Section, given by the International Studies Association. He has been given one of the four major teacher awards, at the University of Notre Dame in 2008- Frank O’Malley Teaching Award for Outstanding Mentoring and Teaching of Undergraduates in the University of Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters.
During this year’s commencement ceremony, Lopez will receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
The ceremony starts at 9:30 a.m. on May 12 at Blue Cross Arena.