By Ryan Cornell
The 69 students in Christendom College's 35th graduating class will get a chance to hear from the very professor who authored many of their course readings.
Peter Kreeft, a professor of philosophy at Boston College and The King's College in New York City, will deliver the commencement address at Saturday's ceremony.
Kreeft is "very well known in Catholic circles" and has written more than 60 books on philosophy, theology and the culture war, according to Christendom Director of Admissions Tom McFadden.
"We actually use a number of his books in our teachings, in the classes we do, so it's sort of neat to put a face to the books they've been reading," he said.
"We like to take the opportunity at commencement to honor someone that our students can emulate and look up to and say, this person is doing great things."
Kreeft will receive an honorary doctorate from college President Timothy O'Donnell prior to speaking to students.
The Front Royal Catholic liberal arts college will award Father Terence Henry with its Pro Deo et Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country.
Henry, chancellor of Franciscan University of Steubenville, will be honored for his dedication and contributions to Catholic higher education.
McFadden said the number of graduates this year is considered low compared to classes of recent years, which have ranged in the high 90s. All of the graduates this year have earned a bachelor of arts degree, he said, predominantly in philosophy, history or political science.
He said one of the graduates walking across the stage on Saturday, Theresa Hibl, of Amissville, is the eighth member of her family to graduate from Christendom College.
"That's a record for us," he said. "Most families don't even have eight people, and the fact that eight people from one family have graduated here is quite a feat."
The commencement ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Louis the Crusader gymnasium.
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or email@example.com