SJU to graduate largest class during commencement ceremonies

April 28, 2011

John Grim, senior lecturer and research scholar at Yale University, will deliver the Saint John's University commencement address at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 15, in the Saint John's Abbey and University Church, Collegeville, Minn.

Grim will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Also during the commencement ceremony, SJU will present an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Bill Kling, president and CEO of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and American Public Media (APM).

Thomas Loonan, a political science major from Shakopee, Minn., will be the student commencement speaker, as selected by the Saint John's senior class.

The 2011 Saint John's graduating class includes 475 undergraduate men, the largest class in school history, and 27 School of Theology•Seminary graduates. When combined with the College of Saint Benedict's 483 graduates, this year's undergraduate graduating class of 958 is the largest class.

John GrimGrim earned his bachelor's degree in theology and history from SJU in 1968. He received both his master's and doctorate in history of religions from Fordham University, N.Y. in 1975 and 1979, respectively. 

He is coordinator of the Forum on Religion and Ecology with Mary Evelyn Tucker, and series editor of "World Religions and Ecology," from Harvard Divinity School's Center for the Study of World Religions.  

Grim has authored or edited six books on ecology and religion as well as numerous articles and papers. He has served on a wide variety of professional organizations and as president of the American Teilhard Association since 1987. Grim has won awards, fellowships and grants, most recently the Interfaith Visionary Award from Temple of Understanding in 2010.

Bill KlingKling, who earned his bachelor's degree in economics from SJU in 1964, has spent his career in public media and has been involved in its national development since 1967. He was the co-founder with Colman J. Barry, OSB, of Saint John's University Broadcasting, which became MPR. He was a founding director of National Public Radio and the first chair and president of Public Radio International. He is the founding and current CEO of APM.  Kling is also president of Greenspring Company, a for-profit company that created several businesses to provide long term support of MPR. 

He founded and served as vice chairman of Southern California Public Radio, providing public radio for Los Angeles, as well as founding Classical South Florida, which was created to extend classical music to Miami and Palm Beach. 

Kling is a former director of Travelers Co. and currently serves on the Fund Boards of The Capital Group in Los Angeles. He is a former Regent of SJU.