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SFU announces 2019 Commencement speakers

April 18, 2019 Tags: Alumni , Arts and Humanities , Business and Communications , Health Sciences and Education

Saint Francis University has asked two renowned professionals, Michael Lauf and Prof. Francis Campbell, to inspire soon-to-be graduates during the 2019 Commencement ceremonies.

2019 Commencement SpeakersCommencement ceremonies for both graduate and undergraduate students will be held on Sunday, May 12, 2019 in the Stokes Athletics Center. The theme for the day is a reflection on one of the institution's Goals of Franciscan Education: “A Global Vision.” 

This year 750 students (421 undergraduate/329 graduate) will earn degrees from Saint Francis. Close to 573 graduates are expected to participate in the two ceremonies.

The graduate ceremony will feature keynote speaker Michael K. Lauf, M.B.A. ‘03, President and CEO, Cape Cod Healthcare and CEO of Cape Cod Hospital.  The procession begins promptly at 9:45 am with the ceremony starting at 10:00 am. Tickets are not required for the Graduate Commencement ceremony.

Professor Francis Campbell, Vice-Chancellor, St. Mary’s University in Twickenham London will serve as the keynote speaker for the undergraduate ceremony. Doors open at 12:30 pm.  The procession begins promptly at 1:45 pm with the ceremony starting at 2:00 pm.  In order to comply with fire and safety regulations, admission to the Undergraduate Commencement will be by ticket only.

A detailed schedule can be found at

About Michael Lauf

Mr. Lauf has served since December of 2010 as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cape Cod Healthcare, a regional health system with more than 450 physicians and 5,300 employees. He also serves as the CEO of Cape Cod Hospital. The system is comprised of two-acute care hospitals, the largest home health services agency on the Cape (VNA), a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, an assisted living facility and numerous health programs.

Recognized twice in recent years by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the nation’s “rising stars” in health care administration, Mr. Lauf served as the Cape Cod Healthcare system’s Chief Operating Officer from 2008-2010. He was promoted to President of Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital in 2010, before being appointed to his current position as President and CEO of the system, and CEO of Cape Cod Hospital.

During his tenure, CCHC has made great strides in operational and financial performance, while also developing a strong strategy focused on quality, service, access, and process improvement.

Prior to joining CCHC, Mr. Lauf served as Chief Operating Officer of Bristol Medical Center, a 348-bed hospital in Bristol, Tennessee, part of the Wellmont Healthcare System. At Bristol, Mr. Lauf developed a hospital performance scorecard and cultivated service improvement goals among employees that have resulted in dramatically higher patient and physician satisfaction scores.

From 1999 to 2006, he held a variety of positions for Conemaugh Health System in Pennsylvania, including President and CEO of one of Conemaugh’s hospitals, Miners Medical Center. From 1994 to 1999, he worked on the staff of U.S. Representative John P. Murtha, most recently as Rep. Murtha’s Director of Community and Economic Development.

Mr. Lauf earned his MBA from Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania and his BA from the University of Pittsburgh.

About Prof. Francis Campbell

Francis joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) as a member of HM Diplomatic Service in 1997.  Francis has worked at the United Nations Security Council in New York, the European Union and the FCO in London. From 1999-2003, he served on the staff of the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, first as a Policy Adviser in the No.10 Policy Unit, and then as a Private Secretary to the Prime Minister.  He also served on secondment with Amnesty International as the Senior Director of Policy.  Between 2005-2011 he served as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Holy See, from 2011-13 he served as Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan.  From 2013-2014 he was the Head of the Policy Unit in the FCO and Director of Innovation at UK Trade and Investment.  In 2014 he was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London. Francis is also Professor of International Relations at St. Mary’s University. 

Francis is a Member of the Advisory Panel of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner,  a governor of St Mary’s University, St Elizabeth’s School, Richmond and Carlow College, Ireland.  He is a Trustee of St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney and Forward Thinking a London based NGO and think-tank.


  • BA in Political Science and Scholastic Philosophy - Queens University, Belfast
  • University of Dublin, Trinity College
  • MA in European Integration - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Jagiellonian University, Krakow Poland, Tempus Scholar
  • MA in International Relations - University of Pennsylvania, USA 
    (Thouron Fellow)

Academic honours

He has Honorary Doctorates from Fordham University (New York), Queen’s University (Belfast), Steubenville University (Ohio), Misericordia University (Pennsylvania), the Pakistan Institute of Business and Technology (Karachi), and the President’s Medal from the Catholic University of America. He is also an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge University.