Saint Xavier University Announces 2016 Commencement Ceremony Speakers
What would a priest, actor and an executive all have in common? They will share their knowledge and expertise as speakers for the 2016 Saint Xavier University (SXU) Commencement Ceremonies. Our exciting line-up this year includes Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Actor and Comedian George Robert Wendt III, and President and CEO of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls Rev. L. Scott Donahue. The Commencement ceremonies will be held in the Shannon Center at the University's Chicago campus, located at 3700 W. 103rd Street.
McWhorter will deliver the Commencement address on Friday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. to graduates of SXU's Graham School of Management. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; Wendt III, best known for his role as Norm Peterson on the popular show Cheers,will give the Commencement address to graduates of the College of Arts and Science on Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. Doors open at 9 a.m.
Lastly, Fr. Donahue will deliver the Commencement address on Saturday, May 9 at 3 p.m. to graduates of both the School of Education (SOE) and School of Nursing (SON). Doors open at 2 p.m.
McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, announced plans to re-vamp multiple projects, which included the launch of a TechGYRLS program that focuses on developing STEM awareness for girls ages 9 through 14. Another innovative program called Creating IL Talent was introduced to provide web and mobile application development training to adult women. In the spring of 2015, an e-commerce site called YShop was launched where a portion of each purchase benefits the YWCA and the communities they serve, and in June of 2015 a partnership with Uber was finalized in an effort to extend economic opportunity to 5,000 women in Chicago. There is also a global commitment to bring 1 million women drivers on the Uber platform by 2020. Prior to joining the YWCA, McWhorter worked in the accounting industry for over 20 years with nine years at Crowe Horwarth LLP, one of the largest accounting firms in the U.S., as well as senior level positions with Snap-on Incorporated and Booz Allen Hamilton. She was also a member of YWCA's Board of Director's since 2005. McWhorter was born in Englewood and raised in Racine, Wisconsin. She received her B.A. in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.B.A. from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
Most are familiar with Actor and Comedian George Robert Wendt's III character Norm Peterson on the popular show Cheers, which aired from 1982 to 1993. However, he also appeared on Broadway in Hairspray, Elf the Musical as well as
Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. He began his film/TV career by performing in My Bodyguard. Wendt III performed in productions of Twelve Angry Men in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles and has made several Saturday Night Live appearances. He recently wrote a book entitled: Drinking with George: A Barstool Professional's Guide to Beer. Wendt III grew up in the Clearing neighborhood of Chicago (near Midway Airport) and attended Jesuit-run Rockhurst College in Kansas City securing a B.A. in economics.
Rev. L. Scott Donahue is the president/CEO of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, a privately funded home for children who have experienced abuse, neglect, abandonment, and emotional trauma. As its eighth president, Fr. Donahue led the strategic vision to extend Home services to more young people through a $10 million major capital expansion, which allowed them to open the Hay Boys Campus in Chicago's Near West Side. The number of youth in its care increased by 40 percent. He oversaw the dramatic expansion of the AfterCare program by renovating and opening a donated property on the South Side of Chicago that offers resources and connections to Mercy Home's former residents and their families.
Fr. Donahue illustrated his life-long advocacy for education by creating The Academy, a Mercy-Home in-house educational support program to help young people achieve academically and vocationally. Fr. Donahue has a B.A. in political science and accounting, a master's in social work from Loyola University, and a theology degree from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary.