2015 Speakers

Undergraduate Ceremony: Killian Noe

Killian Noe spoke at our 2015 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony and received an honorary doctorate from Seattle University.

For nearly three decades, Killian Noe has lived in and led a number of intentional communities throughout the world. In 1985, she co-founded Samaritan Inns, an intensive, transitional and longer-term healing community for men and women recovering from homelessness and addiction. A comprehensive response to homelessness and addictions, Samaritan Inns has become a national model and has received scores of awards for excellence and innovation in supportive housing and treatment.

After nurturing Samaritan Inns for 15 years, Noe moved to Seattle in 1999 and co-founded the New Creation Community, an ecumenical faith community committed to contemplation and action and to addressing the widening gap between the world’s rich and poor.

In 1999 she founded and currently leads Recovery Café, a therapeutic community and school for men and women recovering from homelessness, addiction and other mental health challenges. Recovery Café provides ongoing support that begins where traditional treatment programs end. Ninety percent of its members report that Recovery Café has helped them maintain sobriety and has given them a deep sense of belonging.  

Noe has received many awards and recognitions, including being honored as a distinguished alumna by Yale Divinity School in 1998 and Wake Forest in 2015. She is also an author having written Finding Our Way Home: Addictions and Divine Love.  

Noe is a member of Seattle University’s Board of Trustees and an adjunct professor in the School of Theology and Ministry.

Graduate Ceremony: Mark K. Shriver

Mark Shriver spoke at our 2015 Graduate Commencement Ceremony and received an honorary doctorate from Seattle University.

Mark K. Shriver is president of Save the Children Action Network, where he leads an effort to mobilize Americans around two goals: ending preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths globally and ensuring that every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early childhood education.;

Shriver joined Save the Children in 2003, serving as Vice President for U.S. Programs until 2013. In that capacity, he created and oversaw the agency’s early childhood education, literacy, health, and emergency preparedness and response programs in the United States. He also led a national coalition that convinced Congress to create the National Commission on Children and Disasters.

Previously he started the innovative Choice Program for at-risk Maryland youth and served in the Maryland House of Delegates. Jesuit-educated, Shriver attended high school at Georgetown Preparatory School and earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Holy Cross. He received a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard.

Shriver has earned a number of awards for his commitment to the rights and well-being of children, including honorary doctorates from Wheelock College, his alma mater Holy Cross and Loyola College in Maryland. 

Shriver’s late mother Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded Special Olympics and his late father R. Sargent Shriver created the Peace Corps and led President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Mark Shriver’s book, A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver, was published in 2013. He is currently writing a book on Pope Francis.