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Nazareth celebrates 96th Commencement on May 12 and 13 on campus at the Golisano Training Center

Published May 05, 2023

Nazareth College celebrates the Class of 2023 at its 96th Commencement ceremonies in the Golisano Training Center on campus. The graduate ceremonies are Friday, May 12, at 6 p.m., and the undergraduate ceremonies are Saturday, May 13, at 10 a.m., and 2 p.m. Each of the ceremonies will be livestreamed; see Commencement 2023.

Nearly 1,000 students (both undergraduate and graduate) earned degrees in the 2022-2023 academic year. Read more about some members of Nazareth’s Class of 2023.

One of Western New York’s most accomplished health care, nonprofit, and government leaders, Anne McCaffrey ’89, will be Nazareth’s Commencement speaker at all ceremonies. She has been a champion for access and support for all individuals for more than three decades, truly personifying — through her own life’s work – the concept of changemaking that is a cornerstone of Nazareth’s mission. Nazareth will honor this accomplished alumna and board of trustees member with a doctor of humane letters at Commencement.

McCaffrey’s commitment to making a positive impact began during her nearly 20 years of leadership at Lake Shore Behavioral Health. Building from her mental health services administration expertise, McCaffrey’s role as director of rehabilitation and vocational services, as well as her position as director of development, grants, and community relations, focused on supporting Lake Shore’s nonprofit commitment to providing high quality, accessible, and impactful services for individuals with mental health and substance abuse disorders.

In 2014, heeding a call to serve an even broader segment of the community, McCaffrey was sworn in as mayor of Lockport, the county seat of Niagara County, after having already served as Common Council president and 2nd Ward alderwoman. She stepped into the mayoral role — with responsibility for a complex mix of departments focused on public works, legislation, regulation, economic development, and tax revenue — at a challenging time, as the Lockport community was struggling with a financially strapped government and crumbling infrastructure. During her four plus years in the mayor's office — including reelection in 2015 — McCaffrey led an inspiring comeback for Lockport that included a $4.4 million municipal budget balance, the repaving of more than one-third of the city’s streets, and $16 million in new community development grants.

McCaffrey remains involved in government as a member of the New York State Legislative Ethics Commission.

McCaffrey’s work steered toward health care in 2018 when she became president and CEO of Eastern Niagara Hospital. During five years in this role, McCaffrey passionately strove to ensure that quality, accessible health care remained viable in Niagara County, which, at the time, was in jeopardy. To that end, she was deeply involved in facilitating a successful agreement with Catholic Health, resulting in the building of a new hospital in Lockport that greatly enhances access to cutting-edge health care for all residents of Niagara County.

In early 2023, McCaffrey’s diverse experience in mental health services, traditional health care, and management of complex organizations converged as she was named CEO of People Inc., Western New York’s largest nonprofit organization. People Inc. employs more than 4,000 people and provides support for more than 12,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Drawing inspiration from her rich career experience and from her own Nazareth educational experience — which emphasized a commitment to neighbor-to-neighbor, impactful work to address the needs of society — McCaffrey leads People Inc.’s ongoing efforts to provide people with disabling conditions or other special needs the support they need to participate and succeed in an accepting society.

For More Information

Julie Long | Senior News & PR Officer | | (585) 389-2456 | (585) 781-8186 (cell)

Nazareth University is an inclusive community of inspired learners, educators, and changemakers who for nearly 100 years have been driven by a bold commitment to action, empathy, equity, and leading innovation for the common good. Impact experiences are at the heart of a Nazareth education, preparing each student to discover within themselves the potential to cultivate positive change in their life's work, in any career field, and in a world that is constantly evolving and infinitely interconnected.

Our broad academic offerings present a range of study options typical of larger universities, yet achieved in our supportive campus culture. Nearly 2,100 undergrad and 600 graduate students enroll in degree and certificate programs and engage in collaborative, transformative learning experiences, preparing for the professions and society of today and tomorrow. In a learning community that purposefully integrates liberal arts and professional programs, Nazareth University graduates are able to launch a lifetime of impactful leadership in communities and workplaces near and far.