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Saturday, April 20, 2024
The Observer

University announces honorary degree, Hesburgh-Stephan Medal recipients

Notre Dame announced their honorary degree recipients and a recipient of the Hesburgh-Stephan Medal, according to statements released Thursday.

The University announced former U.S. secretary of energy Ernest J. Moniz and current chief executive officer (CEO) and principal for Kinsale Management Consulting Kathleen McChesney will receive honorary degrees at the 2022 Commencement, according to a press release. Moniz and McChesney were supposed to be recognized at the 2020 Commencement that was postponed due to the pandemic.

Moniz, who will receive a doctor of science, currently serves as the CEO and co-chairman of the board of the Nuclear Threats Initiative and CEO of the Energy Futures Initiative. He is a long-time member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) faculty, at one point serving as head of the department of physics. During his time as the U.S. secretary of energy from 2013 to 2017, he helped negotiate the Iran nuclear agreement, the release said. 

McChesney, who will receive a doctor of laws degree, previously had a 24-year career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). According to the release, she led field offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Portland, Oregon before she was appointed executive assistant director of the bureau. From 2002 to 2005, she served as head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office of Child Protection, helping ensure dioceses complied with laws and policies regarding the prevention, reporting and response of sexual abuse of minors, the release said. She also served as vice president for global security at the Walt Disney Company.

The University awarded McChesney the Laetare Medal in 2020, recognized as the oldest and most prestigious honor awarded to American Catholics.

In addition to Moniz and McChesney, Notre Dame previously announced commencement speaker Ukrainian Archbishop Borys Gudziak will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the ceremony.

Notre Dame also announced in a press release that trustee and alumnus John W. Jordan II “Jay” will be the second recipient of the Hesburgh-Stephan Medal.

The medal, named after former University President Fr. Ted Hesburgh and the first chairman of the Board Edmund Stephan, was first awarded in 2016 to former Board of Trustees chairman Richard Notebaert. The medal is awarded to trustees who provide “uncommon and exemplary contributions to the governance and mission of Notre Dame,” the release said.

Jordan graduated from Notre Dame in 1969 before co-founding the Jordan Company, a private investment firm. He has served on the Board since 1993 and is the University’s most generous benefactor, with contributions upward of $150 million, according to the release. He led the Board’s Investment Committee for more than 20 years and led the “Boldy Notre Dame” capital campaign from 2004 to 2011, which raised $2 billion.

The Class of 2022 Commencement is scheduled for May 15 at Notre Dame Stadium.