Marquette Wire

Sister Peggy O’Neill announced as 2015 commencement speaker

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Photo via http://ignatiansolidarity.net/blog/2013/11/25/peggy-oneill-s-c/

Photo via http://ignatiansolidarity.net/blog/2013/11/25/peggy-oneill-s-c/

Photo via http://ignatiansolidarity.net/blog/2013/11/25/peggy-oneill-s-c/

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The university chose Margaret “Peggy” O’Neill, a Marquette alumna, to be the keynote speaker for the spring 2015 commencement ceremony, according to a university news brief Wednesday.

Marquette will also present former University President Rev. Robert Wild with an honorary degree at the ceremony on May 17. Wild served as president from 1996 until his retirement in 2011 and served as interim president from 2013 to 2014 after Rev. Scott Pilarz resigned from the position.

O’Neill is a peace activist and the founder of El Centro Arte Para la Paz in El Salvador, an agency that helps the country’s poor and marginalized. She has received multiple honors and awards for her work.

Marquette Student Government President Kyle Whelton said he is looking forward to hearing O’Neill when he graduates.

“Marquette’s mission seeks to create men and women for and with others who leave the institution ready to enter the struggle for a more just society,” Whelton said. “There is no better example of our mission coming to fruition in an individual than Sister O’Neill.”

In the news brief, University President Michael Lovell called O’Neill a “superb role model for our graduates, someone we would be proud to present as an illustration of the principles of intellectual and moral excellence that Marquette proclaims … (and one whose) work and tireless service to our human family have significantly improved the lives of countless people in El Salvador.”

O’ Neill received a master’s degree in theology from Marquette and a doctorate in religious education from New York University.

This story was updated March 4, 2015 at 9:34 p.m.

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