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Villa Maria’s 57th Commencement Ceremony Scheduled for May 21; Dr. Lisa Summerour to Address the Class of 2022

By May 4, 2022May 5th, 2022Academics

Villa Maria College will honor its Class of 2022 at Commencement on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 11 AM. This year’s ceremony will be held in-person in the College’s auditorium, where graduates will receive degrees in business, fine arts, applied science, and more.

“Commencement is the pinnacle of each academic year,” said Dr. Matthew Giordano, Villa Maria’s president. “The College community comes together as a whole in recognition of the dedication and sacrifice it took each graduate to get to this point. It is inspiring to stand on stage in the auditorium, to look out on the seats filled with graduates and their proud families, to shake graduates’ hands and give them hugs, and to celebrate everything that is to come for each of them.”

In keeping with one of the College’s longstanding Commencement traditions, two awards will be given out during the ceremony. The Blessed Mary Angela Student Award is given to the most outstanding graduate and the Martin A. Wanamaker Spirit Award is given to the graduate who has distinguished themselves in promoting spirit on campus. The student award winners have been named and will be announced publicly following the ceremony.

Dr Lisa Summerour, the 2022 Commencement speaker.

This year, Lisa Summerour, Ed.D, will address the Class of 2022. Dr. Summerour is on the Board of Trustees at Villa Maria College, where she chairs the academic success committee.

Dr. Summerour is the Chief Engagement and Empowerment Officer of Summerour and Associates, Inc., a coaching and consulting firm whose clients experience personal and professional transformation. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and SAG/AFTRA, as well as a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory and the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory Assessment. She is a certified WholeBrain Practitioner and certified to conduct the Equitable Leadership Assessment.

As a former actor and current member of SAG/AFTRA, Dr. Summerour has performed on stage, film, and television. Her credits include featured appearances on Law and Order and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. She has also appeared in the films “Beloved,” starring Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey, played opposite Forrest Whitaker in “The Enemy Within,” Bruce Willis in “The Sixth Sense,” and Denzel Washington in “Philadelphia.” Last year a song she co-wrote was featured on the hit Netflix series “Lucifer.”

Dr. Summerour holds a Doctorate in education with a focus on ethical leadership from Olivet Nazarene University. She earned a master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University and a second master’s in Christian Studies focusing on Christian leadership from Grand Canyon University. Her bachelor’s degree in sociology is from Trenton State University.

The College’s traditional liturgy and hooding ceremony will precede the exercises. The liturgy and hooding ceremony will take place on May 21 at 9 AM in the Villa Maria Convent Chapel located at 600 Doat Street.

For more information on Commencement 2022, visit

Villa Maria College continues to prioritize the health and safety of its community. All New York State and Erie County COVID-19 guidelines will be followed. For more information on the College’s pandemic protocols, please visit