Skip to Main Content

News Story

May 11, 2019

La Roche University Honors 54th Graduating Class

PITTSBURGH, May 11, 2019 – Today La Roche University honored 2019 graduates and conferred 391 degrees at the 54th commencement.

The University granted two doctoral degrees, 53 master’s degrees, 327 bachelor’s degree and nine at the associate level.

Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D., president of La Roche, encouraged graduates to value human interaction as they step out into the world. “You are part of a generation that has always been comfortable with technology,” she said. “But, my caution to you, and to me as well, is that we must never forget that there is no app, no aspect of social media, that can ever replace human interaction. I hope that you will remember often to put down your cell phones, forgo one more selfie, stop your tweets for a minute, and take the time to smile at the person who passes you on street. I wish you a lifetime of encounters that will wow any application you may download to any device.”

Retired U.S. Navy Captain and La Roche Distinguished Alumna Cynthia Piccirilli ’79, M.D., delivered the commencement address and received an Honorary Doctorate of public service. Born and raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Dr. Piccirilli is the former head of neurosurgery at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, and an inaugural member of La Roche’s Distinguished Alumni Circle.

During the ceremony La Roche named Ryan Norkus the 2019 recipient of the President’s Award for Leadership and Scholarship. Students who receive this award exemplify the values and characteristics of the La Roche mission statement, have exemplary academic records, and are effective leaders on campus, in the workplace or in the community. 

One of 17 students nominated for the award, Mr. Norkus graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and attained a cumulative GPA of 3.79. As a La Roche student, he studied abroad in South Africa through the University’s Study Abroad+Study USA program, was a member of the men’s basketball team and served as a resident assistant. A former intern for the Pittsburgh Police Department, Mr. Norkus will enter the Pittsburgh Police Academy this summer.

The La Roche University Woman of Providence Award also was presented to Sister Agnes Vogel, CDP, whose life of service, as part of the mission of the Congregation of Divine Providence, is a compelling example of God’s Providence made visible. 

About La Roche University: A private liberal arts university in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, La Roche University offers 66 undergraduate programs of study, six master’s degrees and one doctoral degree, with particular strengths in education, business, criminal justice, psychology, and health and medical sciences as well as interior design and graphic design. This residential university provides a vibrant campus community for more than 1,400 men and women enjoying 30-plus student organizations and an exciting NCAA Div. III athletics program. Founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche University embraces its Catholic heritage while welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds. With a legacy of social justice and a commitment to international exchange, La Roche University educates students to be lifelong learners and achievers in an increasingly diverse and global society.