Gannon University Celebrates Spring Commencement

Reverend_Majdi_SiryaniPosted: May 9, 2014

The Rev. Majdi S. Syriani, L.L.D., guest speaker for Gannon University's 2014 Spring Commencement ceremony.

Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., will recognize graduates at the University's Spring Commencement ceremony, to be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10 at Erie Insurance Arena. 

Gannon will award 769 degrees that include 44 students earning doctoral degrees, 280 earning master's degrees, 416 earning bachelor's degrees and 32 earning associate's degrees. Students from 24 nations from Australia to Zambia will be earning degrees on Saturday. Including students earning degrees at the December 2012 ceremony, Gannon University will have a graduating class of 970 for the 2013-14 Academic Year in the University's three academic Colleges: the College of Engineering and Business, the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences and the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences.

This year's keynote speaker is the Rev. Majdi S. Siryani, LLD who directs the advancement and global office at the American University of Madaba in Madaba, Jordan, a university with which Gannon has an agreement for the exchange of faculty and students. Fr. Syriani will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa at the ceremony.

8:30 a.m.--Commissioning Ceremony Army ROTC, Waldron Campus Center Room 219 

10 a.m --Baccalaureate Mass, St. Peter Cathedral 

2 p.m.--Commencement, Erie Insurance Arena 

Guest Speaker


Fr. Siryani was ordained in Madaba by Bishop Salim Sayegh in 1986. He has been instrumental in the initiation and continued development of Gannon University's strong partnership with the Latin Patriarchate Schools and American University of Madaba. The growing partnership has already included many Gannon students sharing their talents and learning through their experiences and service in the Jordanian schools as well as participating in study abroad. Fr. Siryani has facilitated initial faculty scholarly partnerships and sabbatical work as well as plans for additional faculty travel and exchange with our partner Catholic institutions in Jordan.

Previously, Fr. Siryani was the general manager of the legal department of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, as well as the legal advisor for the Rev. Michel Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem. In addition, he has served the Holy See as a member of its delegation for negotiations with the PLO since 1998. Prior to his assignment in Jerusalem, Fr. Siryani studied civil and canon law at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome for seven years, and also served parishes of the Arab-American Catholic community. He completed his dissertation, "Legal Status of Jerusalem under International Law" in 1998. Fr. Siryani shares his knowledge and understanding of international law and the legal status of Jerusalem at conferences and presentations to bring awareness of the Christian presence in Jerusalem. In late October 1998, he organized an important symposium on Jerusalem for the Latin Patriarchate. 

Fr. Siryani also has 13 years of experience working with youth ministry programs and educational programs. From 1988 to 1992, he was general director of the Latin Patriarchate Schools. From 1985 to 1990, he also served as the assistant parish priest and director of youth ministry in Birzeit in the West Bank. During the time he was engaged in theological studies prior to his ordination, Fr. Siryani worked with the Christian Youth Ministry in the Bethlehem region. Fr. Siryani is a graduate of the Latin Patriarchate Seminary in Beit Jala and received his second B.A. in philosophy. 

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