USF celebrates Class of 2023 at Commencement

May 6, 2023

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The University of Saint Francis proudly awarded degrees to the Class of 2023 today at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

USF Board of Trustees Chair Richard Poinsatte welcomed attendees and offered a message of appreciation for USF President Rev. Dr. Eric Albert Zimmer’s service to the University over the last three years, citing advancements in academics, athletics and facilities. Fr. Zimmer previously announced he will step down as USF president as the academic year ends.

“In addition to ensuring students receive the highest quality academic experience, the spiritual development of the students was fostered under Fr. Zimmer,” Poinsatte said, pointing to the formation of the St. Benedict the Moor Justice Center and the Assisi Program for Discipleship and Leadership.

In opening the conferral of degrees, Fr. Zimmer presented a Doctor of Humane Letters to Anne Marie Koehl, who graduated from the St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in 1974 (prior to the program coming under the direction of USF). Knowing the important work of the Women’s Care Center in South Bend, Indiana, Anne worked to open a center in Fort Wayne and has served as director for the last 20 years.

USF’s graduating class included five valedictorians: Joseph R. Caffee (BS, Exercise Science), Isaiah B. Lacey (BS, Computer Information Systems), Emma Mantica (BS, Biology; AS, Chemistry Pre-Pharmacy), Daniel W. McKeeman (BS, Finance) and Timothy J. Tippmann (BS, Biology Pre-Medicine; AS, Chemistry Pre-Pharmacy).

USF conferred 583 degrees to 411 undergraduate students and 172 graduate students. These totals included 137 students graduating in online programs and 47 graduating from USF Crown Point.

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 60 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the College of Health Sciences and the College of Arts, Sciences and Business. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the music technology program while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis, recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution, has 18 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships. Approximately 1,900 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.