Besides honoring graduates, the University celebrates its 140th year

December 07, 2017

About 500 students will celebrate their completion of a variety of academic programs during Regis University’s fall commencement ceremony at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15, at the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St., Denver. Mary McFarland, Ph.D., RN, a professor at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, will be the guest speaker and honorary degree recipient. Regis President Father John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J., will present the undergraduate and graduate degrees.

McFarland is the former director of Jesuit Worldwide Learning: Higher Education at the Margins (JWL), a global partnership of academic institutions, companies and nonprofit groups providing college-level educations to those who otherwise would have no access to higher learning opportunities. Regis University partners with JWL to provide the academic diplomas to graduating students, many of whom live in refugee camps in Malawi, Kenya and Iraq. Since 2010, JWL has served more than 5,000 students via its online classes at 17 learning centers worldwide.

“Jesuit Worldwide Learning is a timeless legacy of the Jesuit model of education by serving the marginalized around the globe,” said Provost Janet Houser, who will perform the duties of master of ceremonies at commencement.

Regis also is commemorating its 140th anniversary this year. The University was founded in 1877 by Jesuit priests in Las Vegas, New Mexico, then relocated to Denver at the invitation of the Most. Rev. Joseph Machebeuf. Renamed College of the Sacred Heart, it moved first to Morrison before moving again to donated land in the Berkeley neighborhood in Northwest Denver. The institution was renamed Regis College after a Jesuit priest who toiled in the mountains of France, and became Regis University in 1991.

For more details about Regis’ fall commencement ceremony, please visit  

Established in 1877, Regis University is a premier, globally engaged institution of higher learning in the Jesuit tradition that prepares leaders to live productive lives of faith, meaning and service. Regis University, one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, has four campus locations in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs and extensive online program offerings with more than 11,000 enrolled students. For more information, visit