Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V.

For 25 years Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V., has led the Sisters of Life in their mission to protect and enhance the sacredness of every human life. From its Holy Respite residence in the Hell's Kitchen district of New York City, through a network of associated convents across the country, and even by phone, the Sisters of Life provide emotional and practical resources for up to 1,000 pregnant women in crisis each year. With such love and support, almost 90 percent of women who contact the Sisters of Life choose ultimately to bring their children into the world. At its Commencement ceremony on May 18, The Catholic University of America will recognize Mother Agnes' commitment, courage, and compassion in leading the Sisters of Life by bestowing upon her the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.


Michael Thomasian

It’s probably pretty rare that a local elementary school principal gets recognized with an honorary doctorate from a national research university. But then, Michael Thomasian is not your average elementary school principal. The head of St. Anthony Catholic School in Washington, D.C., since 2011, Thomasian has been named a Distinguished Principal by both the Archdiocese of Washington and the National Association of Elementary Schools. And at its annual spring Commencement on May 18, The Catholic University of America will award Thomasian the degree of Doctor of Education, honoris causa.


Russell Shaw

Russell Shaw holds two degrees from Georgetown University, but says he will happily claim The Catholic University of America as his alma mater on receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University at its May 18 Commencement ceremony. For more than 60 years, Shaw has been a persistent voice of the laity, writing about issues of particular interest to Catholics in more than 20 books and countless articles, columns, and reviews. While not afraid to be critical, he is a constructive critic, and enjoys a reputation as a wise, fair-minded, and insightful analyst of the Church and its people.


Jesús Colina

Internationally prominent journalist Jesús Colina, 51, founded two groundbreaking Catholic news sites―ZENIT (1997) and Aleteia (2013). He will address the Class of 2019 at the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, 2019, where he will also be presented with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Colina is the global editor of Aleteia, a multi-language Catholic website that has won the Catholic Press Association’s award for “Best General Publisher Website” three years running. The site is the largest Catholic website in the world. It registers 15 million monthly unique users across eight languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, French, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian.