Benedictine College Announces Leonard Leo as 2023 Commencement Speaker

Monday, April 17, 2023

Leonard LeoBenedictine College has announced that the keynote speaker for its 2023 Commencement Exercises will be Leonard Leo, Chairman of CRC Advisors and Co-Chairman of the Federalist Society. Commencement is set for Saturday, May 13, 2023, in the Ralph Nolan Gymnasium on the Benedictine campus. Seating is limited and each graduate has tickets for the venue. The event will be streamed on the college’s Facebook channel.

Leo is a champion of the rule of law, an advocate of global religious freedom, and a committed leader of many Catholic organizations in Washington, D.C., and around the country. He has engaged issues in the public square that lie close to the heart of the Church, providing an inspirational expression of the new evangelization as envisioned by St. John Paul II.

President George W. Bush appointed Leo to three terms as chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He has also served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. He has received the Catholic Information Center’s John Paul II New Evangelization Award as well as the Bradley Prize for his work in advancing freedom and the rule of law. As chairman of CRC Advisors, Leo leads the firm in its focus on incubating new civic organizations and partnerships, leveraging philanthropic networks, and filling gaps in the capacities of existing non-profits.

Leo joined the Federalist Society over 25 years ago and has been instrumental in helping it become a preeminent legal organization promoting judicial interpretation and legal arguments. The Federalist Society provides a forum for legal experts, the judiciary, law students, academics, and the architects of public policy to come together to debate and consider ways to improve the current state of the American legal order. Many current Supreme Court Justices’ and federal judges’ judicial philosophies have been influenced by the society’s outreach to them as law students and Leo’s experience and knowledge in this area has enabled him to compile prominent lists of potential nominees for federal judicial posts.

Leo holds degrees from Cornell University and Cornell Law School. He and his wife, Sally, reside in Maine and Northern Virginia. They have seven children.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.