SHU Announces 51st Commencement Speaker

News Story: March 29, 2017
                                       Bishop Caggiano celebrates Mass in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit

The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, bishop of Bridgeport, will deliver the commencement address at Sacred Heart University’s 51st undergraduate commencement exercises on Sunday, May 14, at 10 a.m. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Theology degree. 

The University’s graduate commencement will take place on Saturday, May 13, at 10 a.m. Both ceremonies will be at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.

The SHU class of 2017 includes 1,132 undergraduates who will have earned bachelor’s degrees and 1,169 graduate students who will have earned master’s degrees, professional certificates and doctorates. This is the second consecutive year that SHU has awarded more graduate degrees than undergraduate.

Members of SHU’s first graduating class (1967) will participate in the procession to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation.   

Bishop Caggiano was installed as Fifth Bishop of Bridgeport on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at St. Theresa Church in Trumbull. On February 22, 2014, he formally convoked the 4th Synod of the Diocese of Bridgeport, the first in 32 years, as an opportunity for renewal and pastoral planning. More than 8,000 faithful turned out for the Synod Closing Mass Celebration at Webster Bank Arena on September 19, 2015. Under his leadership, the diocese has launched the Catholic Service Corps, the Diocesan Leadership Institute, ongoing Strategic and Pastoral Planning and other initiatives to renew the liturgical and pastoral life of the diocese.

Born and raised in the Gravesend section Brooklyn, he was admitted to Yale University in 1977, and transferred to Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception, where he graduated summa cum laude. After briefly working in the publishing industry, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 16, 1987, in the chapel of the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, Queens.

A noted catechist, the bishop was invited by Pope Benedict XVI to deliver World Youth Day talks in Sydney in 2008, Madrid in 2011, and by Pope Francis to serve as a catechist at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013. He also preached at the Youth 2000 Summer Festival in Tipperary, Ireland.

He currently serves on five committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis; Subcommittee on the Catechism; Committee on Doctrine; Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Committee on Priorities and Plans.

Sacred Heart University has been growing rapidly and had become a nationally recognized institution. It offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs to over 8,500 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students through its five colleges. This year, in a transformational move, Sacred Heart purchased the 66-acre former location of General Electric’s global headquarters.

SHU plans to use the property as an innovation campus, to expand its new School of Computing, which is focused on computer engineering, computer gaming and cybersecurity, and to develop programs in STEM fields such as health and life sciences, science and technology. There will also be incubator space that would allow students, in conjunction with investors and area businesses, to develop their creative ideas for new products and programs. The University will also move the Isabelle Farrington College of Education and certain elements of its Jack Welch College of Business to the new campus, including its new hospitality management program that will make use of facilities both at the GE site and SHU’s recently acquired Great River Golf Club in Milford, Conn.