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SFU announces speakers for Commencement 2018

April 16, 2018 Tags: Alumni , Arts and Humanities , Business and Communications , Distinctions , Health Sciences and Education , STEAM , University News

2018 Commencement SpeakersSaint Francis University has asked two renowned professionals, Andrew Rush and Dr. Carolyn Woo, to inspire soon-to-be graduates during the 2018 Commencement ceremonies on May 13.

Andrew G. Rush, M.P.T. ‘00, M.B.A. ’11, Chief Executive Officer for Somerset Health Services Inc. will speak at the Graduate Ceremony at 10 a.m (doors open at 9:45 p.m.). Rush is a hospital CEO with a Major League Baseball pedigree who earned both his master’s in physical therapy and MBA-health care administration from Saint Francis University.

Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, former President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community,  will serve as the Undergraduate Commencement speaker at 2 p.m. (doors open at 12:30 p.m.). She’s been featured in Foreign Policy, representing CRS as one of the “500 Most Powerful” people on the planet and one of only 33 in the category of "a force for good."


The theme for both the Graduate and Undergraduate Ceremonies is a reflection on one of the institutions Goals of Franciscan Education: “Reverence for All Life and for the Goodness of All Humanity.” 

This year 734 students (402 undergraduate/332 graduate) will earn degrees from Saint Francis. Close to 540 graduates are expected to participate in the two ceremonies.

About Rush:  

Andrew G. Rush, M.P.T. ‘00, M.B.A. ’11, serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Somerset Health Services Inc. In addition, he serves Somerset Hospital as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He is also the President of Somerset Med Services and Twin Lakes Center for Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation. Rush started his career with Somerset Hospital in 2000, serving as the Director of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Services. He continued his career at Somerset Hospital as the Director of various service lines including occupational health, orthopedics, sports medicine, and community outreach. For the past five years, Andrew served Somerset Hospital as the Vice President of Physician Practices. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Saint Francis University and a Master of Business Administration, Health Care Administration from Saint Francis University. Prior to starting a career at Somerset Hospital, Andrew served as the Director of NovaCare Rehabilitation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He also played professional baseball for six years with the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. He also serves as a member of the Allied Health Advisory Council for the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, the Exercise Physiology Advisory Board for Saint Francis University and is a member of the Somerset Area Little League Board of Directors. Andrew is currently on the path to fellowship with the American College of Healthcare Professionals.

About Dr. Woo: 

Carolyn Yauyan Woo has been named Distinguished President’s Fellow for Global Development at Purdue University.

Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo was President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. She came to CRS in January 2012 after a distinguished academic career and retired in 2016.

CRS was founded in 1943 by the Catholic bishops of the United States to serve survivors of World War II in Europe. Since then, it has become one of the world’s largest and most respected international relief and development agencies, each year reaching more than 130 million people in nearly 100 countries.

In June, 2015, Pope Francis issued his highly-anticipated encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si', bringing the world’s attention to importance of caring for God’s creation, an issue of great importance to Catholic Relief Services. Carolyn Woo spoke at the Vatican press conference launching the document. As former dean of the Mendoza School of Business at the University of Notre Dame, Woo spoke on the role of business, asking the question, “What kind of world do we want to leave our children?”

Dr. Woo, representing CRS, was featured in Foreign Policy (May/June, 2013) as one of the 500 Most Powerful people on the planet and one of only 33 in the category of "a force for good." Before coming to CRS, Dr. Woo served from 1997 to 2011 as dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. During Dr. Woo's tenure, the Mendoza College was frequently recognized as the nation’s leading business school in ethics education and research, and received top ranking in 2010 and 2011 for its undergraduate business program from Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. Prior to the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Woo served as Associate Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Purdue University.

Dr. Woo was born and raised in Hong Kong, and immigrated to the United States to attend Purdue University, where she received her B.S., M.S.I.A. and Ph.D. degrees, and became a member of its faculty. Her teaching, research and administrative leadership have been recognized through Best Paper Awards by the Academy of Management, selection as one of Forty Young Leaders of American Academe by Change Magazine (the journal of the American Association for Higher Education), distinguished alumna and honorary alumna by Purdue University and University of Notre Dame, as well as by the conferral of honorary doctorates from Providence College, University of St. Francis, Lewis University, as well as the University of Notre Dame. She was the first female dean to chair the accreditation body for business schools (AACSB: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and directed its initiative for Peace through Commerce.

From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Woo served on the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services. She is currently serves on the Board of Directors for the AON Corporation; NiSource (former NIPSCO); Catholic Charities USA; Aileron Foundation; the Board of Regents, University of Portland; the Board of Governors, University of Notre Dame Australia; Archdiocese of Baltimore Independent Child Abuse Review Board; Executive Council on Development of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Migration & Refugee Services, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; and the International Policy Committee, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. She also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Advisory Board, Fuel Up to Play 60 (sponsored by National Football League and the National Dairy Council); helped launch the Principles for Responsible Management Education for the United Nations Global Compact program; and the Diversity Advisory Committee of KPMG.

Dr. Woo is married to Dr. David E. Bartkus and they have two sons, Ryan and Justin.

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