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Jesuit priest, former Ignatius president, JCU alum selected as commencement speaker

March 24th, 2011

John Carroll alumnus and provincial superior of the Chicago-Detroit Jesuit province, the Rev. Timothy Kesicki, S.J. is the speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony. He served on the University’s board of directors from 2000-2010 and was the president of Cleveland’s St. Ignatius High School from 2000-2008.

According to Commencement Coordinator Deanna DePenti, each year’s commencement speaker is chosen by University President the Rev. Robert Niehoff, S.J. and the board of directors.

Kesicki was chosen because of his associations with the city and his close ties with the John Carroll University community through his past undergraduate studies and his service on the board of directors.

“We look for a commitment to the Jesuit Catholic mission and identity of the University. This means a distinguished person who has gone above a career goal to incorporate a life of giving of self, a commitment to learning and to justice,” said Laurie Frantz, assistant to the president.

Kesicki, who is originally from Erie, Pa., received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1984 from JCU. He entered the Society of Jesus the same year at Loyola House Jesuit Novitiate in Berkley, Mich. the same year and was ordained to the Jesuit priesthood in 1994.

During his formation years, he studied philosophy at Loyola University Chicago, theology at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, Calif. and educational administration at Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City. Also prior to his ordination, he worked at University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy as a theology teacher, service program director, and pastoral team member from 1988-1991.

After his ordination, he spent a year in Uganda working with the Jesuit Refugee Service. He returned to the U.S. and taught theology at Detroit Loyola High School until 2000, when he moved back to Cleveland to become president at St. Ignatius.

“I can guarantee everyone will be entertained by Fr. Kesicki because of his humor and thought-triggering ideas,” Frantz said.