UNIVERSITY NAMES GRADUATE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

Published: May 5, 2016

PHOTOS: left  COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF SCRANTON ROYAL NEWS, rIGHT COURTESY OF STAN ZYGMUNT A COLOR guard leads a procession of professors and graduates up the Commons during the 2015 graduate commencement. Joseph, P. Bannon, M.D., will serve as the 2016 graduate commencement speaker May 28.

PHOTOS: LEFT: COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF SCRANTON ROYAL NEWS, RIGHT COURTESY OF STAN ZYGMUNT / A COLOR guard leads a procession of professors and graduates up the Commons during the 2015 graduate commencement. Joseph, P. Bannon, M.D., will serve as the 2016 graduate commencement speaker May 28.

LUKE KROPP
Co-News Editor

An area surgeon and University alumnus will be the principal speaker at the 2016 graduate commencement May 28.

Joseph P. Bannon, M.D., chairman of the Department of Surgery at Regional Hospital of Scranton, will address the graduates and receive an honorary degree from the University. He is a long-time resident of Scranton and graduated from The University with degrees in biology and history in 1983.

Bannon has an extensive list of credentials and close ties to The University, more than qualifying him to be the graduate commencement principal speaker.

He is board certified in general surgery and colon and rectal surgery, and he is a founding member of the Medical Alumni Council at The University, which he has served on for 20 years. The University awarded Bannon with the Frank O’Hara Award for Medicine in 2013, which recognizes alumni who are successful in their lives after graduating from The University.

Bannon said he has given various addresses in the past, but being chosen as graduate commencement speaker is something special.

“I was shocked when I got the letter and invitation from Father Quinn,” Bannon said. “To have the opportunity to address a graduate school commencement is a singular honor, and to be able to do that at my alma mater is the most humbling experience.”

After graduating from The University, Bannon received his Doctor of Medicine from Jefferson Medical College in 1987 and served in several positions at medical centers in Philadelphia before returning to Scranton in 1994. He said the move back to the city was for family and professional reasons.

“I really thought that (Scranton) was a great place to grow up and raise children,” Bannon said. “Also, I had some training that was not routinely available here in Scranton.”

The graduate commencement will be May 28 at 10:45 a.m. in the Byron Recreational Center. Bannon has a few weeks to prepare for his address, but he already knows what he wants to talk about.

“I thought that leadership and responsibilities and preparation for that would be a good topic,” Bannon said. “And I want to frame that in the context of how a Jesuit education can set the stage for leadership positions.”

Bannon is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit Honor Society, and contributed to a number of scholarly journals and textbooks on surgery. He said he could not express enough that his time at The University proved to be rewarding and prepared him for life.

“I really consider myself a product of Jesuit education,” Bannon said. “What I do, how I treat people and my sense of giving back to the community was really founded through my education at Scranton Prep and The University of Scranton.”
Bannon’s wife and four out of five children also graduated from The University.

Contact the writer: luke.kropp@scranton.edu

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