Commencement Weekend 2017

67th Commencement: Sunday, May 21, 2017

Let's. Do. This.

Undergraduate Events

Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 9:30 a.m.
Held outside on Bellarmine Lawn

Graduate Events

Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.
Held outside on Bellarmine Lawn

Area Hospitality

Area Restaurants and Hotels
Plan your visit

Stay Social


We will be livestreaming the events in the following places:

2017 Guest Speakers

Undergraduate Commencement Speaker — Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.

Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J.Fr. von Arx served for 12 years as the eighth president of Fairfield University, assuming the position in 2004. While at Fairfield, Fr. von Arx placed an emphasis on diversity and service. He established the Center for Faith and Public Life, which prepares students to be global citizens; generates research-based solutions; and creates a public forum for dialogue on issues where faith and public life intersect. Additionally, he created the President’s Institutional Diversity Counsel, charged with evaluating, reviewing and assessing the University’s progress as it strengthens its multicultural education and environment. Prior to his appointment as President, Fr. von Arx served as Dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, from 1998 to 2004, and prior to that served as Chairman of the Department of History at Georgetown University and in other posts. Fr. von Arx graduated from Princeton University in 1969 and entered the Society of Jesus that summer. He subsequently earned an MA and M.Phil. in history at Yale University and completed his PhD there in 1980. A year later, Fr. von Arx received an M.Div. from the Weston School of Theology and was ordained a priest. Fr. von Arx is currently the Superior Of LaFarge House in Cambridge, Mass., a residence for Jesuits at Harvard University.

Graduate Commencement Speaker — Juanita James, President and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

Juanita JamesAs the president and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Ms. James exemplifies the character that is valued and encouraged at Fairfield University. Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is a collection of charitable funds established by individuals, families, public charities and businesses aimed to generate an ongoing and steady resource for community giving. James has received numerous awards as a result of her leadership and volunteer service, including the NAACP “100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut;” the 2012 Stamford Public Education Foundation’s “Excellence in Education,” award, which recognizes people who have made an impact on public education; the 2010 “Light a Fire Award” from Moffley Media, which salutes individuals who have gone above and beyond in giving back to their community; and Stamford’s “Citizen of the Year” in 2010. James is currently the director of the Asbury Automotive Group and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; a corporator for First County Bank; a trustee of the University of Connecticut and Lesley University in Cambridge; and a trustee emerita of Princeton University. Mrs. James will also be receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the graduate commencement ceremony.

Ms. James will also receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Fairfield University during the Commencement ceremony.

Dear Fairfield University degree candidates:

On Sunday, May 21, 2017, Fairfield University will hold its Commencement exercises. The ceremony for undergraduates will be at 9:30 a.m. and the graduate ceremony at 3 p.m. - both ceremonies will be held on Bellarmine Lawn. For the University, this marks a milestone in that it will be the institution's 67th commencement. More importantly, for all of you, this is a moment to acknowledge years of hard work and sacrifice along with what has, hopefully, been a time of transformation.

This Commencement is an important ending and an exciting new beginning. Speaking on behalf of our Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, I hope that your educational experience at Fairfield has led you to know yourself better and that you have developed a passion for lifelong learning. For it is only through that passion that you will continue to learn, question and analyze - all hallmarks of an individual who is especially equipped to contribute to the social and economic well-being of their communities and the world.

In addition to our Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 21, I invite you to join our community for the Baccalaureate Mass that will be held in Alumni Hall at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 20. Prior to Commencement weekend, look forward to a number of celebratory activities during Senior Week for our undergraduate students as well as special school-based events for both undergraduates and graduates that will offer opportunities to further engage with faculty and classmates prior to the next phase of your Fairfield experience when you become alumni of this special and distinctive institution.

As we move towards the middle of this academic year, I, as President, want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your successful accomplishments. All of us at Fairfield University look forward to celebrating with you this wonderful occasion.


Lynn Babington
Fairfield University