Jabaras, Carr will receive honorary degrees at 2009 Fall Commencement


Fran and Geri Jabara and Monsignor William Carr will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa during the Fall 2009 Commencement ceremony Dec. 12. The university bestows the honorary degrees upon notable members of the extended Newman community based on exemplary dedication to one of the university’s four Core Values: Catholic Identity, Culture of Service, Academic Excellence, and Global Perspective.

The Jabaras were selected for their commitment to Academic Excellence. Fran Jabara is a longtime businessman, philanthropist and Wichita State University accounting professor. He and Geri have created academic entrepreneurship and student scholarship programs at universities nationwide. Fran served on the Newman Board of Directors from 1972 to 1984, and in recent years on the School of Business Advisory Board. The Jabaras have been generous benefactors to Newman, and for many years have sponsored the Harvey J. and Leona J. Ablah Awards (named for Geri’s parents), which are presented annually to a male and female graduating senior who exemplify the spirit of Newman, demonstrate academic excellence, and show great promise to make positive contributions
to society.

Msgr. Carr, who was selected as a model of Catholic Identity, has served the Church and the Wichita Diocese for close to 50 years. He is respected for his scriptural and liturgical scholarship, writings, lectures, and study of Latin and Biblical Greek. Since 1966, he has written for several publications of Sunday Missal Service, a national publisher of periodical missals and background materials for the liturgy. Among his many appointments, he has been a teacher, chaplain and pastor in many parishes in Wichita and south-central Kansas, chairman of the Liturgy Commission, diocesan director for the Department of Religious Education, and rector at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. He retired in 2002, but continues to write Instruction for Presiders, Lectors, and Commentators for Sunday Missal Service and columns for the diocese newspaper the Catholic Advance.

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