Avila Now

August 12, 2022

David D. Kerr Awarded Honorary Doctorate

Graduation Stage and Audience.

Avila Celebrates 105th Graduating Class

During commencement exercises on May 14 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, 286 undergraduate and 105 master’s degrees were conferred to Avila’s 105th graduating class. David Kerr ’76 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, and President Ronald Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA, was awarded President Emeritus status during the celebration.

By awarding honorary degrees, Avila University recognizes outstanding individuals whose accomplishments are of such excellence that they inspire our graduates. Kerr’s level of exemplary achievement was deemed worthy of the singular recognition conveyed by the conferral of an honorary degree.

An Avila University alumnus and a member of the institution’s first basketball team, Kerr graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1976 and economics in 1977. He served as an Avila University admissions counselor and the director of financial aid. In 2012, Kerr joined Avila University’s Board of Trustees; in 2013, he joined the university’s Heritage Society. 

Kerr is a passionate advocate of higher education and Avila’s founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ). As an inaugural member of the St. Joseph Educational Ministry (SJEM), Kerr works to uphold and share the CSJ charism to ensure the Catholic identity remains strong and present through the mission of Avila University. In his 46-year relationship with Avila University, Kerr has consistently and personally impacted numerous students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members as a devoted and passionate leader of Avila University.

 David Kerr ’76 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during Avila University commencement ceremony on May 14, 2022
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