Saints owner Gayle Benson, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, headline Loyola commencements

Chris Miller
March 20, 2019 - 1:09 pm

Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY Sports


New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson will receive an honorary degree from Loyola University at the school's spring commencement. It will be held Saturday, May 11, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

"Whether she is quietly leading from the sidelines of the Superdome or creating new scholarships for students, Gayle Benson is a crucial contributor to the renaissance and spirit of New Orleans," said Loyola President Tania Tetlow. "She is not only one of the most influential women in sports and in the city of New Orleans, she is a stalwart supporter of the Catholic faith, helping Loyola and Catholic schools across the city to educate future generations.

Benson will also address the roughly 700 Loyola graduates this spring. 

The Benson family has provided 116 students with scholarships to Loyola over the years, according to the university, and have funded the school's Jesuit Social Research Institute and established the Tom Benson Jesuit Center.

Also receiving an honorary degree from the institution will be Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. Edwards will deliver the law school commencement address after receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws.

"In a short four years, Governor Edwards has made a profound and far-reaching impact addressing the basic human needs of the people of Louisiana and protecting 'the least among us,'" said College of Law Dean Madeleine Landrieu, J.D. '84, H '05. "A leader in criminal justice reform, a champion of education, and an avid protector of civil rights, Governor Edwards lives out daily the Jesuit ideals of excellence in all endeavors, respect for human life and dignity, and commitment to social justice."

Loyola this spring is also bestowing honorary degrees upon New Orleans musician Deacon John Moore; Rabbi Alexis Berk of Touro Synagogue; and Hiroshi Motomura, an internationally recognized advocate and scholar in immigration and citizenship law.

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