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Graduates Step Off For Commencement At Fairfield University

Graduates fill the Bellarmine Lawn for the commencement exercises Sunday at Fairfield University. Photo Credit: Fairfield University
Cindi Bigelow, CEO of Bigelow Teas, speaks at the commencement exercises for graduate students Sunday at Fairfield University. Photo Credit: Fairfield University
Graduates fill the Bellarmine Lawn for the commencement exercises Sunday at Fairfield University. Photo Credit: Fairfield University

FAIRFIELD, Conn. --  Degrees were handed out Sunday at the 2016 Fairfield University Commencement.

Two ceremonies took place on the university's Bellarmine Lawn. In the morning, 1,030 bachelor's degrees were bestowed on graduates, while 423 master's degrees, 16 6th Year Certificates, and 27 Doctorates were given in the afternoon.

Honorary degrees were also given to both speakers and three other recipients: Julio Ramirez ‘77, Don Gummer and Sr. Maureen Flemming, SSND.

This was the university's 66th commencement.

The undergraduate commencement speaker was the Rev. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, S.J., Doctor of Laws.

Orobator is currently the principal and president of the Jesuit School of Theology and Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations in Nairobi, Kenya.

Between July 2009 and December 2014, he served as the provincial superior of the Eastern African Province of the Society of Jesus, an area that includes Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Orobator is the author of a number of books, the most current of which is "Practicing Reconciliation, Doing Justice, Building Peace: Conversations on Catholic Theological Ethics in Africa."

He gave a plenary address at Fairfield University at the Third International Receptive Ecumenism Conference in June 2014.

Orobator received his honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the undergraduate ceremony.

The graduate commencement speaker was Cindi Bigelow, Doctor of Laws. Bigelow is CEO of family-owned Bigelow Tea and exemplifies the Jesuit tradition of promoting social responsibility and inclusion.

She works with teens in Appalachia to rebuild homes and build relationships, continuously leveraging her business success for humanitarian causes.

The Bigelow Tea Challenge in Fairfield teams with Wakeman Boys & Girls Club to raise over $100,000 annually to benefit 18 local charities.

Bigelow serves as Advisor to teens with the Greenfield Hill Church service trip to Appalachia to rebuild homes each summer, and sponsors numerous events to benefit US Troops, veterans, Norma Pfriem Breast Cancer Center, The Center for Women and Families, Connecticut Food Bank and Operation Hope, among others.

She is a former speaker at the Fairfield Awards Dinner, and was the recipient of her honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the graduate ceremony.

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