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Spring Commencement Ceremony Celebrates Graduates, Distinguished Honorees

School News

April 29, 2019

The Walsh University community celebrated the academic and personal accomplishments of its  460 spring graduates during the Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, April 28. They join the 224 graduates from Walsh’s winter Commencement Ceremony for a total of 684 graduates for the 2018-19 academic year.

During the ceremony, Walsh honored President Richard Jusseaume with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, First Lady Theresa Jusseaume with the Distinguished Service Medal and Walsh’s founding order, The Brothers of Christian Instruction, with the Founders’ Award in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of their establishment in France in 1819.

Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient: Walsh President Richard Jusseaume

As Ohio’s second longest-serving president of a private university, Richard Jusseaume became the sixth president of Walsh University in 2001. Under his guidance, Walsh has experienced phenomenal growth in almost every facet of its operations including enrollment, academic programming, faculty and staff, financial resources and physical facilities. In total, he has spent five decades at Walsh in various roles including student, Dean of Students, Board of Directors member, and ultimately as President.

A man of deep Catholic faith with an acute business sense, his knowledge and understanding of Walsh’s mission was built upon a lifelong personal relationship with the University’s founders, the Brothers of Christian Instruction.

During his tenure, full-time undergraduate enrollment has increased by more than 80 percent, while academically the University has more than doubled its number of undergraduate majors and launched its first doctorate programs. Propelled by his leadership, the University successfully concluded its largest capital campaign in Walsh history. The five-year We Believe Campaign exceeded all goals and surpassed its $30 million goal with its conclusion in 2017. During his presidential tenure, the University’s endowment has grown from $2 million to more than $22 million. Over the past 18 years, the number of buildings on Walsh’s North Canton campus has more than doubled from 11 to 27 buildings on 136 park-like acres, with 10 residence halls, state-of-the-art athletic facilities and new academic buildings equipped with the latest technology. Walsh has also expanded internationally with the additions of a campus in Rome, Italy, and a robust Global Learning Program. 

Distinguished Service Medal – Mrs. Theresa Jusseaume

Theresa "Terie" Jusseaume is the eldest of nine children born to Alfred (2016) and Pearl Frank of Navarre, Ohio. She attended Walsh University as a commuter on a full-tuition Presidential Scholarship and earned a B.A. in English/ Secondary Education. She married Richard Jusseaume, and as he often says, he gave her five beautiful children: Nicole (Kevin Finefrock), Paul (Emma Heck), Maria (Brian Gluys), Marc (Sara Bamvakis) and David (Dr. Megan Fellows). At this time, they are blessed with 13 grandchildren with three more expected this summer.

Guided by her strong faith and commitment to serve, Terie joined the Walsh staff in 2004 to lend her talents and energy to new campus initiatives involving Catholic outreach. She organized the first President’s Pilgrimage in 2006 and, by 2019, the Jusseaumes will have led seven student groups to pilgrimage locations including Medjugorje, Lourdes, Paris and Rome. She herself has attended multiple Marian pilgrimages. On campus, she helped to establish Walsh University’s reputation as a Catholic University of Distinction by welcoming Catholic organizations such as Catholics United for Faith, Magnificat and Opus Angelorum to campus and organizing the public events with world-renowned Catholic speakers such as St. Luke’s Productions, Al Kresta, Immaculee Ilibagiza, Christopher West, Dana Scallon and Leah Darrow. Her tireless efforts have also resulted in the hosting of All-Night Adoration on campus including special intentions in May and August where the names of each graduate and first-year students are read out loud in prayer.

Founders’ Award Recipients – Brothers of Christian Instruction

The Walsh University Founders' Award was established in 1985 and is awarded to those who have achieved national stature by illustrating in their lives the same ideals that inspired the Venerable John de La Mennais and Father Gabriel Deshayes in establishing the Brothers of Christian Instruction, Walsh’s founders. These ideals are faith in God, fidelity to the Catholic Church, active concern for Christian education, dedication to authentic social justice and courageous promotion of human welfare especially among those less fortunate and disenfranchised.

In June 1819, Father Jean Marie de la Mennais, vicar general of Saint-Brieuc, and Father Gabriel Deshayes, pastor at Auray and vicar general of the diocese Vannes, formed the Brothers of Christian Instruction by signing a treaty uniting their efforts to educate the working class in impoverished France. They vowed to carry the message of the gospel and the rudiments of knowledge to every child in need throughout the region and received Catholic papal approval on March 16, 1891. As a teaching order, their enduring mission remains “to make Christ better known and better loved, through Education and Instruction.” Today, there are 761 Brothers in 26 countries on five continents. More than 148 young Brothers are currently in training and committed to providing a values-based Catholic education to all who seek it.