JCU Announces Commencement Speaker, David P. Haney, and Honorary Degree Recipient, Luise Drüke

John Cabot University is honored to announce that the 2023 Commencement speaker will be Dr. David P. Haney, President of Hiram College in Ohio. The University will also welcome honorary degree recipient Dr. Luise Drüke, scholar and practitioner in the field of international relations and human rights protection.

This year’s Commencement ceremony, which will take place on May 15, is a particularly joyful occasion as it is the culmination of JCU’s 50th anniversary year as an American university in the heart of Rome, Italy.

John Cabot International College (JCU’s original name) was founded thanks mainly to the joint effort of two close friends, Paul Frohring, member of the Hiram College Board of Trustees, and William D. Cavendish, head of the Italian subsidiary of a U.S. multinational company. The two, who both served on John Cabot’s Board of Trustees from the outset, shared a vision of creating an educational bridge between Italy and the United States. Hiram College President Elmer Jagow and the Hiram Board of Trustees were quick to respond to the call of John Cabot’s founders: in 1972, Hiram accepted a proposal for affiliation. The relationship between JCU and Hiram lasted until 1997 when John Cabot became a candidate for regional accreditation from the Middle States Association. John Cabot has continued to maintain close ties to Hiram and many Hiram faculty and students have taught or studied at JCU over the years.

Says President Pavoncello, “For 25 years, John Cabot was affiliated with Hiram and the College’s constant support was vital for our growth and success in our first years. For this reason, we are especially pleased to welcome President Haney as our Commencement speaker. We look forward to a continued collaboration between our two outstanding liberal arts universities on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Commencement Speaker David P. Haney

Dr. David P. Haney

Dr. David P. Haney

Dr. David P. Haney became the 23rd president of Hiram College in 2020. Serving nearly 40 years as a college administrator and faculty member, Dr. Haney is an accomplished higher education leader who has fostered collaboration and strategic thinking in providing a transformative education for students.

Before going to Hiram, Dr. Haney served as president of Centenary University, a private liberal arts university in Hackettstown, New Jersey. There, he led efforts to achieve financial sustainability, reorganized the University’s administration, developed a strategic plan using the principles of human-centered design, expanded both institutional and student connections to the community, and met a multi-million-dollar fundraising goal. Prior to his presidency at Centenary, Dr. Haney served four years as the vice president for academic affairs at Emory & Henry College, in Southwest Virginia. He also held administrative and faculty positions at Appalachian State University, Black Hills State University, Auburn University, and Swarthmore College. Dr. Haney began his administrative career as dean of students at the Cambridge School of Weston, a progressive secondary boarding and day school in Weston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Haney holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Macalester College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, as well as a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has published extensively on British Romantic literature and the relationship between literature and philosophy, including two monographs in Penn State Press’s Literate and Philosophy series.

During the Commencement ceremony, the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa will be bestowed upon Dr. Haney.

Honorary Degree Recipient Luise Drüke

Dr. Luise Drüke

Dr. Luise Drüke

Dr. Luise Drüke has more than 40 years of practical experience in national, regional, and international refugee work. From 1977 to 2006 she was responsible for UNHCR missions/offices in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. In this context, she also gave lectures and conducted seminars at various universities, such as the University of Nice, Boston University, and Harvard University.

After 2006, she was Co-Chair of the Inter-University Committee on International Migration at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and study group leader at Harvard University (for Continuing Education/HILR) on International Relations and EU Integration. She worked as a university lecturer at Suffolk University and Leibniz Universität Hannover (main topics dealing with the United Nations) and carried out further research, while she continues to work on various advisory boards of the Experiment e.V. In 2007, she founded the Harvard-Mit-Leibniz University Alumni Academy, which she is leading with a team and partner institutions, especially the Harvard Club Hamburg, MIT Club of Germany, Alumni Office of Leibniz Universität Hannover, and Harvard Alumni Association (HAA). In 2018 she directed the Tagespolitisches Kolloquium at the Institute for Political Science, Leibniz Universität Hannover with Michel Crousillat-Drüke.

Her publications include books (authored and co-edited) and articles dealing with her work and research priorities. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and the Harvard Law School (HLS), as well as the UNHCR, the Human Rights and Justice Program at the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have supported her more recently published work, especially her latest book Innovations in Refugee Protection on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the UNHCR.

At JCU’s Commencement, Dr. Drüke will receive a doctoral degree in International Affairs, honoris causa.

The Class of 2023

This University’s 50th Commencement Ceremony will take place at Villa Aurelia on the Janiculum Hill overlooking the city of Rome. 192 students from 34 different countries are expected to graduate.