Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been named the official commencement speaker for Boston College’s 137th graduation ceremonies on May 20.

In a statement, University Spokesman Jack Dunn said that Boston College is delighted to have the Prime Minister speak at its Commencement, given the school’s historic ties to Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“Boston College was founded by a Jesuit from Ulster 150 years ago to serve the sons of Boston’s Irish immigrants,” said Dunn in the press release.

“Given our connections to Ireland and Boston College’s reputation as America’s foremost university in the field of Irish Studies, we are pleased that the Taoiseach will join us for our Commencement and receive an honorary degree during our Sesquicentennial celebration.”

Speaking to Boston College’s independent student newspaper The Heights, Dunn also said, “Prime Minister Kenny is an internationally respected leader with a well-known reputation for promoting human rights and causes of social justice, two issues that resonate with the Boston College community.”

“It also seems fitting, during our 150th anniversary, to welcome the leader of a nation whose history is intertwined with our own. We look forward to having the Taoiseach address our students on May 20.”

As part of the commencement ceremony which will graduate 4,400 students, Kenny will be presented with an honorary Doctors of Law degree from Boston College President Rev. William P. Leahy, SJ. The ceremonies will be held at Alumni Stadium at 10am on May 20.

Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda KennyGoogle Images