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April 12, 2021

La Roche University to Host 55th Commencement on May 8

PITTSBURGH, April 12, 2021 – La Roche University is pleased to announce the 55th commencement will be held in person on Saturday, May 8.

The University will host two separate ceremonies in the Kerr Fitness & Sports Center to ensure adequate social distancing. The morning ceremony for graduates of the Science, Education and Nursing Divisions will begin at 10 a.m., followed by an afternoon session for graduates of the Design, Humanities and Management Divisions at 2 p.m.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Howard Ishiyama, Ph.D., said, “Commencement is an important milestone for our students, and we look forward to celebrating this pivotal moment with meaningful, in-person ceremonies. We are determined to honor our graduates while keeping the campus community safe and healthy.”

La Roche will adhere to COVID-19 safety measures and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Allegheny County Health Department. Temperature screenings, face coverings and social distancing will be required, and hand-sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the Fitness Center.

Both 2020 and 2021 graduates will participate in this year’s commencement, and the University expects approximately 200 graduates to attend. Due to restrictions on public gathering sizes, guests will be limited to two per graduate, and tickets will be required. A live stream of the events will be available to those who are unable to attend.

Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna III, trustee emeritus and chairman of Howard Hanna Holdings, will deliver the commencement address and receive an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration.

“We are pleased to present Mr. Hanna with an honorary degree and welcome him as the 55th commencement speaker,” Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D., president of La Roche, said. “Mr. Hanna’s distinguished career in real estate, along with his spirit of service and leadership, make him an exemplary role model for our students. I am confident that his perspective will be an inspiration to all graduates.”

Mr. Hanna led the expansion and diversification of the family-run business to 300-plus offices across 10 states, with more than 11,000 sales associates and staff. Howard Hanna is now the third largest real estate company in the United States, with over $7 billion in sales.

Mr. Hanna is a founder and former chairman of Family House, a home away from home for patients and families with life-threatening illnesses in Pittsburgh, and founder of the annual Viking Victory Auction for Central Catholic High School, which has raised millions for academic programs and financial aid. He also personally chairs the annual Howard Hanna Children’s Free Care Fundraising Drive, which has raised and donated more than $15 million to children’s hospitals and related programs in markets the company serves.

Visit for more information about La Roche’s spring commencement events.

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 nearly 1,300 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.