TO: The Trinity Community
FR: President Patricia McGuire
RE: Winter Graduation on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 5 pm in the Trinity Center
With classes wrapping up this weekend and final exams almost done, I wish everyone all the best for beautiful Christmas holidays and must joy and peace as we look to the new year starting very soon. And the very first big event of 2014 will be Trinity’s Winter Graduation! Congratulations to our students who have completed degrees in August or December 2013, we look forward to celebrating with you on January 7.
Students who are eligible to participate in graduation should have received all of their instructions from Dean Michele Bowie. Please follow those instructions very carefully, especially about your arrival times and tickets for your guests. Given the seating capacity of the Trinity Center, we must adhere to the policy that only ticket holders will have access to the graduation ceremony.
I am so pleased to announce that Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, will be our commencement speaker on January 7. Sr. Simone is truly a global hero for social justice. She has led the “Nuns on the Bus” touring the country to advocate for policies protecting the rights of the poor and disenfranchised, standing up for justice in government policies and programs, calling for more attention to peacebuilding and less investment in war. Her full biography from the NETWORK website is below.
NETWORK was founded at Trinity 42 years ago! A group of religious women met here to discuss the critical importance of giving witness through action for policies that expanded educational opportunity, extended healthcare support to those in need, improved the social system for all citizens, immigration reform, peacebuilding and nuclear nonproliferation. Our very own Sister Mary Hayes and many other Sisters of Notre Dame were involved in that first meeting and so many of the subsequent action initiatives. Read more about NETWORK HISTORY by clicking the link.
Sr. Simone’s message to our graduates comes at a critical time in our nation’s struggle to achieve equality of opportunity for all people. The ongoing debates over healthcare, education, foreign policy and domestic issues across the spectrum of political and social perspectives demand the best engagement of Trinity’s graduates.
Please join me in welcoming Sr. Simone to Trinity on January 7. Congratulations to our graduates!
Here is her biography from the NETWORK website:
Executive Director of NETWORK
Sister Simone Campbell is the Executive Director of NETWORK.
Sister Simone Campbell has served as Executive Director of NETWORK since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of peace-building, immigration reform, healthcare and economic justice. Around the country, she is a noted speaker and educator on these public policy issues.
During the 2010 congressional debate about healthcare reform, she wrote the famous “nuns’ letter” supporting the reform bill and got 59 leaders of Catholic Sisters, including LCWR, to sign on. This action was cited by many as critically important in passing the Affordable Care Act. She was thanked by President Obama and invited to the ceremony celebrating its being signed into law.
In 2012, she was also instrumental in organizing the “Nuns on the Bus” tour of nine states to oppose the “Ryan Budget” approved by the House of Representatives. This budget would decimate programs meant to help people in need. “Nuns on the Bus” received an avalanche of attention across the nation from religious communities, elected officials and the media.
She recently led a new cross-country Nuns on the Bus trip (May 28 through June 18, 2013), focused on comprehensive immigration reform.
Simone has often been featured in the national and international media, including recent appearances on 60 Minutes, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
She has received numerous awards, including the “Defender of Democracy Award” from the international Parliamentarians for Global Action and “Health Care Heroes Award” from Families USA. In addition, she has been the keynote or featured speaker at numerous large gatherings, including the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
Prior to coming to NETWORK, Simone served as the Executive Director of JERICHO, the California interfaith public policy organization that works like NETWORK to protect the interests of people living in poverty. Simone also participated in a delegation of religious leaders to Iraq in December 2002, just prior to the war, and was later (while at NETWORK) part of a Catholic Relief Services delegation to Lebanon and Syria to study the Iraqi refugee situation there.
Before JERICHO, Simone served as the general director of her religious community, the Sisters of Social Service. She was the leader of her Sisters in the United States, Mexico, Taiwan and the Philippines. In this capacity, she negotiated with government and religious leaders in each of these countries.
In 1978, Simone founded and served for 18 years as the lead attorney for the Community Law Center in Oakland, California. She served the family law and probate needs of the working poor of her county