2018 Spring Commencement
The 2018 Spring Commencement exercises begin at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 12, at the TaxSlayer Center (formerly iWireless Center), Moline, Ill.
The ceremony will be streamed live here: Live stream (Stream will also be available "on-demand" after the event)
- Order your cap and gown through Jostens through Mar. 22. After that date, order through the SAU Bookstore.
- Pay your $35 graduation fee to Student Accounts.
- Clear any outstanding restrictions with the Library, Athletics Office, Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Bookstore, or Student Services
5 p.m. Commencement Rehearsal, Galvin Fine Arts Center; Reception following in Beehive
Undergraduate attendance required if attending the May 12 ceremony. If you have class scheduled at this time, please attend the class, because it has top priority. Attendance for master's degree candidates is optional. If you are not able to attend rehearsal, please email after May 9 for instructions.
5:30-7 p.m. Senior Reception, Ambrose Hall Beehive
Complimentary appetizers and drinks. Please bring any memorabilia from your time as a Fighting Bee!
5 p.m. – Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Business Graduate Program Hooding Ceremony, Christ the King Chapel
5 p.m. – College of Health and Human Services Graduate Hooding Ceremony, Galvin Fine Arts Center
Any questions regarding the hooding ceremonies should be directed to your graduate program office. Reception immediately following in Cosgrove Dining Hall (CAS & COB) and the Rogalski Center Ballroom (CHHS).
8 p.m. Nursing Graduates Pinning Ceremony, Galvin Fine Arts Center
9 a.m. Commencement Mass, Christ the King Chapel
10 a.m. Brunch for graduates, families, and guests, Rogalski Center Ballroom. All graduating students will receive one complimentary brunch ticket (but still must make reservations). Buy brunch tickets
Prior to 11:45 a.m. Line up. Enter through the Employee Entrance door on the south side of the TaxSlayer Center (directly beneath the skywalk). Follow the hallway to the check-in table. Professional staff will help you get in line.
1 p.m. Commencement Ceremony (begins with the procession)
Collecting Your Diploma
Diplomas may be picked up May 29, 2018, in the Office of the Registrar during regular business hours (8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.). Diplomas not picked up by June 6, 2018, will be sent to the student's active address listed in the system. If you'd like your diploma mailed before June 6, email the address to Bill McAleer. Please remember that diplomas will not be released until all restrictions have been cleared.
If you, or any of your guests, require special accommodations to attend the Commencement ceremony, please call Ryan Saddler at 563-333-6275.
If you have any questions about the events, call the Office of the Registrar at 563-333-6203, or send an email.
Click below to read the newest candidates for graduation from St. Ambrose University.
Locust Street – Be advised that if you use Locust Street to access I-74, there is only one lane of travel in each direction from Kenwood Avenue to Eastmere Drive.
I-74 River Drive Exit – Be advised that the I-74 River Drive exit (Exit 1) is closed. You will need to use the 7th Avenue exit.
If you are traveling from Iowa to Illinois, the Centennial Bridge would be an alternate route to the TaxSlayer Center. Please allow for extra travel time due to heavy construction on the I-74 Bridge, especially after the ceremony ends.
Celebrate Your Graduate!
We have two locations for graduation ceremonies.
In winter, we conduct commencement exercises at the RiverCenter in downtown Davenport.
In the spring, commencement exercises are conducted at the TaxSlayer Center (formerly iWireless Center) in Moline.
Winter Commencement Ceremony
RiverCenter, 136 East Third St., in downtown Davenport, Iowa, 563-326-8500
Parking is available at the RiverCenter parking ramp on Brady Street between 2nd and 3rd streets, under the Mid-American Energy building. Parking is complimentary between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Graduation guests leaving the parking ramp after 3 p.m. will need to provide payment with one of the garage payment kiosks. On-street parking is free on weekends.
Spring Commencement Ceremony
TaxSlayer Center (formerly the iWireless Center), 1201 River Drive, Moline, Ill., 309-764-2001
The TaxSlayer Center parking lot has 937 parking spaces, 43 handicapped spaces on-site, and 1,400 nearby off-site parking spaces. The MetroLINK parking ramp has 250 spots. Guests can access the arena concourse directly from that ramp via the skywalk. There is a drop-off lane in front of the building.
At times, the I-74 Bridge from Iowa to Illinois can back up due to construction work. We encourage you to check the bridge traffic cameras prior to using I-74.
By Interstate 74 West (from Illinois):
Exit I-74 at 7th Avenue, exit 2, turning left/west, and continuing straight to 15th Street. At 15th Street, turn right/north to River Drive, then turn left/west to the TaxSlayer Center. The TaxSlayer Center parking lot will be on the far side of the venue.
By Interstate 74 East and River Drive (from Iowa):
Exit I-74 at 7th Avenue, exit 2, turning right/west and merge onto 7th Avenue. Take right at 19th Street to River Drive and turn left continuing to the TaxSlayer Center. The TaxSlayer Center parking lot is on the far side of the facility.
Information to order photos:
St. Ambrose University contracts with GradImages to have photos taken of graduates as they receive their diploma and as they walk off the graduation stage.
Graduates can pre-register prior to the event and receive a coupon code for 20% off an order of $50 or more at www.gradimages.com/preregistration. After the ceremony, graduates will receive the photo proofs via email and mailing address.
If you do not receive your proofs or have any additional questions, you may contact the GradImages Customer Service Department at 800- 261-2576, online at www.gradimages.com, or email email@example.com.
St. Ambrose does not receive photo proofs or order forms from GradImages.
Information to order flowers:
Family and friends wishing to purchase roses for graduates can go online to https://www.thecommencementgroup.com/stambroseu/. Roses will also be sold the morning before the commencement ceremony from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the lobby of the TaxSlayer Center. Pre-ordered flowers will be available for pickup in the TaxSlayer Center lobby until 1:30 p.m.
Information to order St. Ambrose diploma frames:
Frames for St. Ambrose University bachelor's and master's degree diplomas may be ordered through the St. Ambrose Campus Bookstore, at https://www.bkstr.com/stambrosestore/home.
Frames for doctoral degrees received May 2017 or after may be ordered through FramingSuccess.com. Search for St. Ambrose University and select the option at the bottom of the page for "Frame Creator," which will allow you to customize the frame size.
Dimensions for St. Ambrose diplomas issued since May 2017 are:
Bachelor's diplomas: 11 inches wide x 8-½ inches high
Master's diplomas: 11 inches wide x 8-½ inches high
Doctoral diplomas: 14 inches wide x 11 inches high
PLEASE NOTE: St. Ambrose diplomas issued prior to May 2017 were 10 inches wide x 8 inches high.
Communications and Marketing Office, 563-333-6295
Timothy Millea, MD
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Dr. Millea played an important role in the development of the physical therapy program at St. Ambrose through his service on an advisory board in advance of the program's founding in 1993. He has continued to lecture to St. Ambrose Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Occupational Therapy students in his areas of medical specialization.
Dr. Millea serves as president of the St. Thomas Aquinas Guild of the Quad Cities, an organization he helped to create. A chartered guild of the Catholic Medical Association, the St. Thomas Aquinas Guild is a physician-led association of healthcare professionals and supporters from other professions who promote a commitment to Catholic values in the practice of health care. Dr. Millea earned his undergraduate degree in physical therapy from Washington University in St. Louis and earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of South Alabama Medical School. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and later completed a fellowship at the SIU School of Medicine. Dr. Millea is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the North American Spine Society, the Iowa Orthopaedic Society and the Scott County Medical Society. He is a lifelong supporter of Catholic education and his children all attended Assumption High School in Davenport.
The Most Rev. Thomas R. Zinkula, JD, JCL
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Bishop Zinkula was ordained as the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport on June 22, 2017, when he also assumed the role of Chair of the Board of Trustees of St. Ambrose University. He was ordained into the priesthood by the Most Rev. Daniel Kucera at St. Raphael Cathedral in Dubuque, Iowa, on May 26, 1990.
He is a native of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and graduated summa cum laude from Cornell College with a B.A. in mathematics and economics/business. He earned a law degree in 1983 from the University of Iowa and an M.A. in theology from Catholic University of America in 1990. He earned a licentiate of canon law in 1998 from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada Bishop Zinkula served as a priest in the Diocese of Dubuque from 1990 through 2017. In 2000, he was appointed as judicial vicar, a role he held until 2010. He served as an episcopal vicar and priest supervisor for the Cedar Rapids region from 2012 to 2014, and as a rector at the St. Pius Seminary in Dubuque from 2014 until his appointment as Bishop in 2017.
He has served on the board of trustees of Clarke University, the Priest Council, the Priests' Pension Board, the Archbishop's Cabinet, the Archdiocesan Consultors, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and various committees.
Good afternoon! And congratulations, Class of 2018!
At the beginning of a speech given last fall to the U.S. bishops, the apostolic nuncio, the ambassador of the Pope, said:
• More talk, more mistakes
• Less talk, less mistakes
• No talk, no mistakes
Well, I am going to talk, but not too much!
One of my sisters, Diane, who is three years older than me graduated from St. Ambrose, as well as a brother, Ken, who is three years younger than me.
So I suppose it was inevitable that someday I would be connected with St. Ambrose University in one way or another!
All I remember about my sister's time at St. Ambrose is that the commencement address was given by the late comedian, Bob Hope. I can even remember where my family stood during the ceremony under the oaks. I guarantee you that my talk won't be as funny as his was!
And all I remember about my brother's time at St. Ambrose is Whitey's Ice Cream, which by that time had made its way across the river.
Rather than give you, the Class of 2018, advice, I simply would like to share with you three things that I have learned along the way. Feel free to take them or leave them. In any case, hopefully they are worth at least a little thought and reflection.
First, commencement speakers sometimes tell graduates that they can be and do whatever they want to be and do. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. If you work hard enough, you can be and do anything.
This sentiment bespeaks the American Dream and I have found that it does have a certain ring of truth to it. But it isn't totally true. I can assure you that no matter how hard I might have tried, I would never have been able to become a male ballet dancer or an opera singer!
I have found that a good way to approach and live life is from the perspective of stewardship. Although none of us can be all and do all, each of us does have certain talents and gifts, due to either nature or nurture, or a combination thereof.
With regard to stewardship, I like to think of it as the big G and the four little g's.
Believers view life itself - and one's time, talent and treasure - as gifts from God, the big G. But one also can view these gifts as coming from and nurtured by parents, families, neighborhoods, parishes and schools. So, to begin with, our lives and everything in our lives are gifts, the first little g.
The second little g stands for gratitude. It is essential that we be thankful for these gifts, which we don't deserve and haven't earned. To humbly receive and cherish them. To have an attitude of gratitude.
Next, we should strive to grow, the third little g, the gifts we have been given. You, the Class of 2018, have been doing this the past two or three or four years, or however-the-heck-long it took you to make your way through St. Ambrose! Hopefully, the development of our gifts is a lifelong endeavor.
And finally, the fourth little g is generosity. Good stewards share with others, lovingly and generously, the gifts that have been entrusted to them. It is our responsibility to do this.
I have found that a life of stewardship is an incredibly joyful, meaningful and satisfying manner in which to live one's life. St. John Paul II often said that the human heart will not be content unless it is self-giving. Similarly, Senator John Holmes once said, "No exercise is better for the human heart than reaching down to lift up another person." Ironically, the more of ourselves and what we have that we give away, the more we are and have.
A second thing that I have learned along the way is that it is helpful to approach life from the perspective of team or family.
I have observed that in commencement addresses, graduates often are told: follow your passions, chart your own course, march to the beat of your own drummer, follow your dreams and find yourself. Such advice focuses on the individual graduate himself or herself. And yet, spiritual leaders throughout history and across the globe have emphasized that the purpose of life is not to find yourself, but to lose yourself.
I have learned that it is not all about you or me. None of us is alone as we make our way through this life, and none of us is as independent as we might think we are.
Many of you graduates were student-athletes and therefore have experienced team unity, teamwork, and team spirit. And all of us are members of families in which we experience give and take, and interdependence, on a daily basis.
In the Christian tradition, there is a wonderful belief and doctrine called the Communion of Saints, which highlights the importance of community and interdependence. We are all in this together, living and dead. Being a lone ranger is not only lonely and scary; it also isn't very satisfying or productive. I have found that there are always people who are willing to lend a hand, give a word of comfort and encouragement, and show us how.
When we operate as a team or a family, and everyone makes a contribution, whether it be remarkable or ordinary, we can do amazing things together. When we share our gifts and efforts, the outcome is always much greater than the sum of our individual contributions.
But what do we do when we develop and use our individual gifts, work together as a team, and nonetheless fail? What then?
With that in mind, I would like to share with you one last thing that I have learned along the way. A year or two ago, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts delivered a commencement address to his son's graduation class. He said commencement speakers typically wish graduates good luck and extend good wishes to them. Instead, he told the graduates this: "From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don't take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either.... I hope you'll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn from compassion."
As difficult as it is to have to deal with failure, thank God all of us fail from time to time. We don't have to go looking for failure; it will find us. Difficulties and failures keep us humble, build character, and provide us with opportunities to grow in resilience, virtue, and depth.
Pope Francis sometimes tells young people not to be afraid to take risks and to fail. It isn't the end of the world if we make a mistake or a bad decision. This is true even in a utilitarian sense. Someone found that the average entrepreneur fails almost four times before succeeding.
Most of us no doubt are familiar with the Humpty Dumpty story. After falling off a wall, Humpty Dumpty could not be put back together again, not even by all the king's horses and all the king's men. But is the egg really smashed or is it hatching? Might a chick be emerging from the broken pieces?
We are near the end of our annual celebration of the Easter mystery. Tomorrow we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. Jesus' agonizing and humiliating death on a cross appeared to be a failure. But it certainly wasn't the end of his incredible story!
THIS, however, IS the end of my commencement address!
May God bless you and keep you always.