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PITTSBURGH, March 21, 2013 – Award-winning actor, social activist and humanitarian Martin Sheen will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and deliver the commencement address at La Roche College’s 48th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 4.

La Roche, founded in 1963 by the Sisters of Divine Providence, invited Mr. Sheen to its campus as part of the College’s 50th anniversary celebration.

“This is a year in which we are especially aware of the values and mission that define the college,” said Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D., president of La Roche College. “The causes that Martin Sheen has been dedicated to mirror the long-established mission of La Roche: educating future leaders who work for mercy, compassion, generosity and justice.”

For decades, Mr. Sheen has been an activist on peace and social justice issues such as: the alleviation of poverty and homelessness, the fair treatment of immigrants, the eradication of nuclear weapons and the end of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. In 1982, he donated his entire salary for his work in the film “Gandhi” to various charities.

Mr. Sheen is best known for his role as President Josiah Bartlet in the TV series “The West Wing” and for his roles in more than 100 movies, including “Apocalypse Now,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Way.” Born Ramon Estevez to immigrant parents in Dayton, Ohio, he chose the stage name Martin Sheen in honor of the late Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, a charismatic archbishop and pioneer in television evangelism.

“Although most people know Mr. Sheen through his stellar acting career, what makes him special in La Roche’s view is that he has used his celebrity status to speak out on issues that align with the mission of La Roche College,” said Sister Candace. “We believe he has a strong message to share with La Roche graduates about the importance of commitment and service on behalf of the world’s humanitarian causes. He also can relate to today’s college students, since he enrolled as a student at the National University of Ireland at Galway just a few years ago.”

For more information about La Roche College's spring commencement ceremony, visit:

About La Roche College: A private, Catholic, co-educational college north of Pittsburgh founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche welcomes students of all religions, ethnic origins and talents. Undergraduates may choose from more than 50 majors, including the top 10 majors most in demand among today’s college students. La Roche combines a quality educational experience with clubs, athletics, social and community volunteer activities, spiritual well-being and more to prepare students for life in a constantly changing global society.

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