14:14 PM

Bishop Robert Barron is Keynote Speaker for UST 2021 Commencement

Founder of the global ministry Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Bishop Robert Barron, will present the keynote address at the 2021 University of St. Thomas Commencement at 11 a.m. on Sat., May 8, 2021 at the NRG Stadium, NRG Parkway, Houston, 77054.

Baccalaureate Mass is at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, downtown, at 7 p.m. Seating is limited due to COVID protocols.

Bishop Robert BarronBishop Barron Bio

Bishop Barron is an acclaimed author, speaker and theologian. His website, WordonFire.org, reaches millions of people each year, and he is one of the world’s most-followed Catholics on social media. His regular YouTube videos have been viewed more than 50 million times and he has more than 3 million followers on Facebook.

Bishop Barron is also the host of CATHOLICISM, a groundbreaking, award-winning documentary about the Catholic faith, which aired on PBS. He is also a #1 Amazon bestselling author and has published numerous books, essays and articles on theology and the spiritual life. He is a religion correspondent for NBC and also appeared on FOX News, CNN and EWTN.

700 Students to Walk

700 students will walk at Commencement. Graduates from fall 2019, spring, summer and fall 2020 have been invited to participate in commencement as well as graduates from 2021.

      • 43 Doctoral
      • 266 Master
      • 388 Undergrad
      • 527 Class of 2021
      • 174 Class of 2020

UST GivesThree Honorary Doctorates

Dr. Robert IvanyUST will present honorary doctorates to former UST President Robert Ivany (2004-2017) and former First Lady Marianne Ivany, MLA ’16, for their tireless commitment to the University. Dr. Ivany successfully shepherded a Capital Campaign, “Faith in Our Future” raising more the $165 million with $47 million funding a new Center for Science and Health Professions building that serves as a linchpin in the University’s commitment to excellence in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with first-class facilities and unbridled academic opportunity.

Marianne IvanyMarianne fostered the Society for Performing Arts at UST, which works to provide students at UST access to quality educational opportunities in the arts with scholarships and enhanced programming in music, drama, dance and studio arts. Each year the Society recognizes a volunteer(s) who passionately promotes artistic disciplines at UST with the Marianne Ivany Heart for the Arts Volunteer Award.

UST will present an honorary doctorate to Bishop Robert Barron for his tireless evangelization of the Catholic faith around the world. Bishop Barron’s far-reaching communication apostolate mirrors UST’s mission of a bold vision for Catholic higher education – truth, innovation and evangelization.

Shayla Dang '21Commencement Speaker: Shayla V. Dang

Shayla V. Dang is a psychology and drama joint major. After graduating from UST, she will attend the University of Houston to complete her master’s in social work. She chose UST because of its diversity and dedication to ethical leadership. She truly believes the University’s values are reflected in every aspect of the school’s leadership, from the classroom to the administration. Read Shayla Dang's full story here.


The University of St. Thomas is Houston’s Catholic University. For more than 70 years, UST has graduated students into successful careers in medicine, education, business, public administration and more. As Houston grows, UST will continue to provide the strong leaders and skilled workers needed to meet those demands.