Posted on April 25, 2017 11:33

Aquinas Institute of Theology will confer three honorary degrees at the school’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony.


Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P., is a Peruvian philosopher, theologian, and Dominican priest. He is regarded as one of the founders of liberation theology and currently holds the John Cardinal O'Hara Professorship of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He has previously been a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and a visiting professor at many major universities in North America and Europe. Fr. Gutiérrez is a member of the Peruvian Academy of Language, and a founder of the Bartolomé de las Casas Institute. In 1993, he was awarded the Legion of Honor by the French government for his tireless work for human rights in Latin America and the third world. In 2002, Gutiérrez was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2003, he received the Príncipe de Asturias award. In 2016, he received the Pacem in Terris Award from St. Ambrose University. Fr. Gutiérrez currently holds honorary degrees from over 20 universities.

Carleen Reck, SSND, recently retired from her position as Executive Director of Criminal Justice Ministry (CJM). Sr. Reck’s work at CJM has been recognized as a national model for reducing recidivism among high risk and needy parolees. In the last fiscal year, CJM impacted over 23,000 individuals both inside area prisons/jails and throughout the St. Louis community.

William R. Brinkmann’s career includes service as a U.S. Navy Cryptologic Officer (retired Captain) and leadership formation responsibilities at several large healthcare systems. He has designed executive seminars in managing large scale change initiatives in the Navy and in the health care industry. Brinkmann was a member of the Navy’s implementation team for Total Quality Leadership and commanded a Naval Station which was awarded the U.S. Senate Quality and Productivity Award. He was also recognized by the National Security Agency for his work supporting that organization’s Presidential Award for Quality.  As Chairman of the Catholic Healthcare Association’s Ministry Leadership Development Committee, he helped lead the creation of Senior Leadership Development Framework for use throughout Catholic healthcare.

The Baccalaureate Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 12, 2017, and the Commencement ceremony is at 7 p.m. that evening. Both celebrations will be held at St. Francis Xavier College Church on the campus of Saint Louis University.

Aquinas Institute of Theology is a Roman Catholic graduate school located in St. Louis, Missouri. It is sponsored by the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), Province of St. Albert the Great.  Offering a number of both on-campus and online graduate degree and certification programs, Aquinas Institute's foundation in the Catholic faith and in the Dominican mission is to educate men and women to preach, to teach, to minister, and to lead.

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