The Newman University Spring and Summer 2013 Commencement ceremony was held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Central Community Church, 6100 W. Maple. The ceremony recognized graduates receiving degrees in the spring 2013 semester and candidates for degrees in the summer 2013 semester.
The Commencement ceremony included an address by Newman University Associate Professor of Biology Michael Bradley, Ph.D. Bradley received the 2012 Newman University Teaching Excellence Award, an annual recognition to a full-time faculty member who has demonstrated an innovative or dynamic approach to courses, course revisions, and teaching techniques. The award recipient also has the honor of speaking at the fall and spring commencement ceremonies.
The ceremony also included the bestowal of a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa degree upon Captain Donald Bittner, M.D. The university awards honorary degrees at each fall and spring commencement to individuals whose life and work reflect exemplary dedication to one of the university's four Core Values: Catholic Identity, Culture of Service, Academic Excellence, and Global Perspective.
Bittner was recognized as an outstanding example of the university's Core Value of Global Perspective.
Bittner, a 1977 Newman graduate, is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and is considered one of Southern California's most respected specialists in reconstructive and microvascular surgery of the hand, wrist and elbow. Bittner, who has a long history of service in the U.S. Naval Reserves, volunteered for active duty when he learned of the Navy's need for surgeons in Afghanistan and other war zones. As chief medical officer of a large medical battalion in Afghanistan, he performed surgery 10 to 12 hours per day on U.S. soldiers and others, then traveled by helicopter to monitor crews under his watch. Bittner flew a U.S. flag over Kandahar in honor of Newman University. He presented the flag to Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. and the Newman community in 2011, when he received the university's Spirit of Acuto Transformational Leadership Award.
Bittner recently served as a deputy director at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. He is currently deputy surgeon for the 6th Fleet, U.S. Navy and lives in California. He practices orthopedic surgery, and is associate professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery, Hand at the University of California at Irvine.
Click here to read the list of graduates by hometown, state and degree.
Click here to see video of the Commencement ceremony.