Benedictine University at Mesa will conduct its first-ever Commencement Convocation for 2014 and 2015 graduates on May 16 at Gillett Hall

May 4, 2015

Mesa, Arizona ~ Less than three years after opening its doors in the East Valley, Benedictine University at Mesa is honoring its first graduates in a private ceremony on May 16.

In May 2014, Benedictine University at Mesa celebrated its first academic year of providing a Catholic, values-based, liberal arts education to students in Maricopa County and the greater East Valley area. One year later, it is celebrating another milestone.

About a dozen students are expected to complete degree requirements and participate in the ceremony at Gillett Hall, located at 225 E. Main St. in downtown Mesa. The ceremony is a ticketed event for graduates, their families and friends.

Public officials and community and religious leaders are expected to attend the historic event. Benedictine President William J. Carroll, Ph.D., will provide the Commencement address.

“This Commencement is the culmination of a vision by former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith – a vision Benedictine University embraced to become Arizona’s first Catholic university and bring our strong, values-based liberal arts education to the people of Southwest Arizona,” said Charlie Gregory, executive vice president of Benedictine University.

“Our new graduates have been prepared to not only enter the workplace or begin graduate study, but to also become leaders in their communities,” he added. “We are as proud of them as their parents surely are for this accomplishment, which is the start of many career and life successes,” Gregory said.

After months of anticipation, planning and building, Benedictine University at Mesa officially welcomed 93 students into its inaugural class on September 3, 2013. The University’s enrollment continues to increase, new programs and degrees are being offered and student life options and athletics are expanding.

The BenU at Mesa athletics program has recently been admitted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which now allows the Redhawks to participate in national tournaments and championships and postseason play within its second year of NAIA membership

In 2011, the City of Mesa extended an invitation to Benedictine University to open a branch campus in the community. After earning approval to operate in Arizona and with the blessing of the Diocese of Phoenix, Benedictine officially opened its doors to business in downtown Mesa in fall 2012. In 2013, the University officially dedicated Gillett Hall, Benedictine’s first academic building.

For more information about Benedictine University at Mesa, including athletics and enrollment, please visit, contact or (602) 888-5533. The University is accepting applications for fall 2015 enrollment.


Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the fourth consecutive year in 2014.

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