2017 Speaker and Honorary Degree Information

Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker

Michael R. Bloomberg


Founder of Bloomberg L.P. and World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases, Michael R. Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who served as mayor of New York City for three terms. The technology startup he launched in 1981 to provide real-time data and analysis to the financial services industry has grown into a global company, Bloomberg L.P. that now employs more than 19,000 people in 73 countries. He led the company for 20 years before entering public service full time. Since leaving City Hall in 2013, has resumed leadership of Bloomberg L.P.

Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York City less than two months after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Under his leadership, the city rebounded faster and stronger than expected. His administration raised high school graduation rates by 40 percent, cut crime by a third, reduced the city’s carbon footprint by nearly 20 percent, and increased life expectancy by three years. His economic policies, which supported entrepreneurs, small businesses, and emerging industries, such as technology and bioscience, helped to create a record number of jobs.

Bloomberg has been strongly committed to philanthropy throughout his career. His foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, employs a unique, data-driven approach to its five main areas of focus: public health, education, the environment, the arts, and government innovation. Bloomberg also leads a number of bipartisan coalitions that are taking action on urgent national and international issues, including climate change, illegal guns, immigration reform and infrastructure investment. Bloomberg has served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, and in 2016, he was named the World Health Organization’s Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases.

Bloomberg graduated from Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Fr. Wally Kasuboski


The Rev. Walter "Wally" Kasuboski, OFM is a Capuchin missionary priest who directs a number of infrastructure and social development projects for the poor and disenfranchised in the jungles of Panama. Father Wally, as he is known in the US, or Padre Pablo, as he is known in Panama, has worked as a missionary priest in the rural Alto Bayano region of Panama for the past 28 years. He serves as an advocate for the impoverished communities, spearheading a vast array of projects that have helped improve the region’s access to clean water, education, health and infrastructure.

Father Wally serves as an inspiration for how one can live out his or her faith. He demonstrates the principles of Catholic Social Teaching by living in solidarity with the communities in which he works and fighting for the lives and dignity of the people who live there. Father Wally strives to protect the poor and vulnerable by working tirelessly to secure clean water, education and opportunities for them. Some of his notable accomplishments include bringing potable water to approximately 5,000 people in 14 villages with the largest rural water system in Panama; building schools, churches and chapels; and constructing bridges and roads across the region.

Father Wally is a 1965 graduate of Ripon High School in Wisconsin and earned a degree in theology from the St. Francis School of Pastoral Ministry in Milwaukee, Wis. He went on to earn a law degree from the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C. and was ordained a Capuchin priest on June 1, 1974. In his early years of ministry, Father Wally served in Nicaragua and on US Indian reservations; acted as the bishop’s vicar for Spanish-speaking people of the Diocese of Saginaw, Mich., assisted migrants and lobbied for approval of the Panama Canal Treaty in Washington, D.C., and served as pastor for an Ojibwa parish in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

For his humanitarian efforts, Father Wally has received numerous recognitions and awards. These include the Distinguished American Award, given to American citizens who live in Panama and present a positive image of the US to Panamanians; the Vasco Nunez de Balboa Award, the most prestigious award a civilian can be given in Panama; and the 2016 Hero of Panama Award. Father Wally’s work also shares a personal connection with the Villanova community. For the past 25 years, Villanova Engineering students and faculty have traveled to Panama to assist on numerous projects related to Father Wally’s mission to improve the lives of Panamanians.



Anne Welsh McNulty is the co-founder and managing partner of JBK Partners, with an investment management business and a private philanthropic foundation focused on leadership development and social change. Before starting JBK Partners, she was a managing director of Goldman Sachs and a senior executive of the Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Strategies Group.

McNulty has deep ties to Villanova, where she, her father, her uncle and all five of her siblings attended. The valedictorian of the Class of 1975 and an editor of The Villanovan, McNulty served as a member of Villanova's Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2015.

McNulty and her late husband, John, met at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Pa, and began a 37-year partnership, supporting each other’s careers and raising three children. Since his untimely death in 2005, McNulty has greatly expanded the mission she began with John to enable young people to grow as high-impact leaders.

Under her leadership, the McNulty Foundation has established several initiatives in John’s name to support individuals who strive to make a difference in the world, most notably the John P. McNulty Prize, which honors global leaders solving some of the world’s most intractable challenges.

As a woman who has broken barriers herself, McNulty advocates for increasing the presence of women in leadership in every sector. She spurred the creation of a pioneering Institute for Women's Leadership at Villanova, which will launch in October 2017 and will foster women’s advancement as leaders through research, education programs, advocacy and community-building. The McNulty Scholars programs at Hunter College and St. Joseph’s University also propel young women toward leadership roles in fields related to math and science.

McNulty serves on the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Institute and on the Board of Overseers of the Wharton School. She is a member of the Advisory Council for Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center and as a board member of the Child Mind Institute in New York and the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia. McNulty is a trustee of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, benefiting children's charities in Collier County, Fla.

McNulty earned her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where the newly named McNulty Leadership Program is pushing the boundaries in the fields of leadership and teamwork education.

Irwin Medway


Since 1993, Irwin Medway has been a student at Villanova University. Medway, who will turn 94 this September, enrolled at Villanova in the 1990s as part of the Senior Citizen Personal Enrichment Program. This program allows adults 65 or older to take courses for personal enrichment, but not for credit. During his 24 years as a Villanova student, he has not earned a degree, but he has tirelessly pursued his passion for learning by taking at least one or two courses every semester.

Medway’s collegiate story began while he served in the US Army. Through the Army Specialized Training Program—a military training program instituted by the Army during World War II to meet wartime demands both for junior officers and soldiers with technical skills—he was able to take college classes, first at St. Bonaventure University and later at Rutgers University. However, he was reassigned to combat before he could finish his studies. For his service during World War II, Medway received the Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and five other awards for combat and infantry service. After he was discharged from the military, Medway had the opportunity to finish a degree with the assistance of the GI Bill or to go to work. Ultimately, he chose to go to work—a decision he has always regretted.

In the years that followed, Medway tried to continue his studies. He took night classes at Syracuse University, where he was relocated for his job, but he never finished a degree. After retiring from his marketing job at Columbia Records in 1982, he started a new job. After several years, Medway decided to begin taking classes at Villanova. He hasn’t stopped since.

Medway estimates that he has been taught by more than 40 professors—including University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, when he taught in the Theatre Department—during his time at Villanova. Each semester, Medway spends a great deal of time investigating and selecting the classes he takes. He tries to only take classes that allow him to drive his wife of 72 years, Corrine "Chickie", to and from work. Medway also volunteers at the place where Chickie works and the couple have lunch together as frequently as possible. Chickie also has a connection to Villanova— she studied Art under Brother Jack Stagliano, OSA, a Studio Art Professor, for several years.

In honor of Villanova University’s 175th anniversary, Villanova University is pleased to bestow a Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, to Irwin Medway, one of Villanova’s longest-running students, who “has wanted to be a college graduate his entire life.”

University Commencement Ceremony Video

Visit this link to view an archived webcast of the 2017 University Commencement Ceremony. Having trouble playing the video stream? Please confirm that your computer/mobile device meets the viewing requirements.


In addition, the video of the University Commencement Ceremony and each College Convocation will be available for viewing on the University's YouTube channel and available for download via ITunesU.


Future Commencement Weekend Dates

Year 2019: May 17-18
Year 2020: May 15-16
Year 2021: May 14-15