Loyola announces 2023 graduation keynote speaker


The Maroon file photo.

Macie Batson, Editor in Chief

The class of 2023 is exactly one month away from “FREEDOM,” and New Orleans native and five-time Grammy Award winner Jon Batiste is set to send them off as the keynote speaker for this year’s undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremony.

Batiste is one of the most successful New Orleans musicians, having won 2022’s Album of the Year for his latest album, “We Are.” He also holds an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a British Academy Film Award, a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Award, and a Critic’s Choice Award for his work on the Pixar film “Soul.”

“Batiste embodies the creativity and vibrancy that make our city and our campus so unique,” Interim University President, the Rev. Justin Daffron S. J., wrote in an email sent to the Loyola community. “I can’t think of a better speaker to energize and inspire our graduates as they prepare to take the next step in their journey.”

Daffron also announced in the email that U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier, J.D. ’70, would address the College of Law.

Barbier, a Loyola law graduate, served on the Eastern District of Louisiana’s bench for 24 years before retiring earlier this year, according to Daffron’s email. In 2018, he was awarded the St. Ives Award, the highest honor awarded by the College of Law Alumni Association.

“I know that our law graduates will be deeply inspired by his words,” Daffron wrote.

The College of Law’s graduation ceremony will take place on May 12 at 6 p.m. in the UNO Lakefront Arena, and the undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremony will be held on May 13 at 10 a.m. in the UNO Lakefront Arena.