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May 13, 2015

Sisters of St. Joseph Receive Honorary Degrees

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The 2015 graduation ceremony not only commemorated the 424 Avila University graduates, but also three Avila alumnae and sisters that participated in one of the most iconic movements in this nation’s history.

The 2015 graduation ceremony on May 9, 2015, not only commemorated the 424 Avila University graduates, but also three Avila alumnae and sisters that participated in one of the most iconic movements in this nation’s history.

In March 1965, three marches from Selma to Montgomery marked iconic protests in the Voting Rights Act of the American Civil Rights Movement. Three Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Avila alumnae, Sr. Roberta Schmidt (’49), Sr. Rosemary Flanigan (’47) and Sr. Barbara Moore (’62), joined hundreds of marchers after a direct appeal to clergy from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Our role was one of witness,” said Sr. Roberta Schmidt. “I was so pleased that they decided to include six women as part of that group.” 

Avila was proud to honor our fellow alumnae with the Honorary Doctorates of Human Letters for their contributions at Selma and to the global community.

“We are honoring the courage and commitment to social justice by the sisters and everyone involved with the Selma march 50 years ago,” President Ron Slepitza commented. “We want our graduates to think of this when they must find the courage and commitment to a cause in their lives.”

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