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Commencement 2017

Commencement 2017

Watch Commencement 2017

Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipients

Chris Lowney

Commencement Speaker
Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws)

Chris Lowney is a writer, leadership consultant and public speaker who has lectured on leadership, business ethics and related topics around the world. He also is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the country’s largest not-for-profit healthcare/hospital systems with more than 100 hospitals around the country. Mr. Lowney is a former Jesuit seminarian and the founding president of Jesuit Commons, which offers online university education in refugee camps in Africa and elsewhere. He co-founded Contemplative Leaders in Action and founded Pilgrimage for Our Children’s Future. He also has written several books, including the most recent, “Everyone Leads: How to Revitalize the Catholic Church.”


Thomas J. Lynch 

Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws)

Thomas J. Lynch has an impressive 50-year career in investments and banking, working since 2000 as Vice President and Portfolio Manager at Haverford Trust Company. Mr. Lynch earned his degree from LaSalle University and has held several other senior banking positions at Jefferson Bank, First Fidelity and Industrial Valley Bank. He also was President and CEO at United Valley Bank. Mr. Lynch is a Past President of the Union League of Philadelphia and former Chair of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. As a former CHC Board member and Chair of the Board’s Finance Committee, Mr. Lynch always used his leadership skills to move CHC forward.


Brighid Blake

Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws)

Brighid Blake’s life’s work has been to improve the lives of others through education and service. She was born and reared in Dublin, Ireland, and taught secondary school there. Her subsequent journey has taken her around the world. Her 30-year career in education includes director positions with Drexel University and Montgomery County Community College. Ms. Blake served as the Executive Director of SEPCHE, where she was instrumental in securing funding for a variety of educational programs, including expansion of library collections across the eight SEPCHE schools. Since 2010, she has served on the Board of the African Sisters Education Collaborative, of which CHC is a founding member. 


Elisa Costantini

Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws)

Elisa Costantini began a new chapter in a fascinating life, when, at age 76, she published her first book, Italian Moms Spreading Their Art to Every Table. Born in Italy, Mrs. Costantini and her husband settled in Philadelphia when they were 23, and she began a 35-year career of caring for and cooking for children, men and women with special needs at Don Guanella School and Divine Providence Village, run by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. After her husband’s death, she compiled a lifetime of cherished recipes into a cookbook, and she has since appeared on the Rachel Ray and Today shows. Today, she is dedicated to sharing the book’s profits with schools and other organizations.

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