Thomas More University Celebrates the Class of 2024

Thomas More University Celebrates the Class of 2024

University confers over 320 degrees at 96th Commencement Exercises

Florence, Ky. (May 14, 2024) – Thomas More University honored its newest alumni in a Commencement Ceremony held Saturday, May 11, at Thomas More Stadium in Florence, Ky., and was joined by families from across the United States and around the globe, as well as faculty, staff and friends of the University. Thomas More proudly conferred degrees to more than 320 students, including 273 bachelor’s degrees and 48 graduate degrees.

“Through your education at a Catholic liberal arts university, you have been prepared to become the leaders of tomorrow,” Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D., said in his address to the graduating class. “You have examined the ultimate meaning of life, your place in the world, and your responsibility to others. I challenge each of you to put this into practice over your lifetime and challenge others to do the same.” To listen to President Chillo’s remarks, CLICK HERE.

Four years after the global pandemic of 2020 brought in-person learning and many high school graduation ceremonies to a halt, President Chillo commended the members of the Class of 2024 for their perseverance and tenacity in the face of unprecedented challenges and obstacles. “You experienced online education and learned more about social distancing than you ever would have thought,” Chillo said. “But you also learned important life skills, such as determination and grit.” In a nod to the challenges experienced by these graduates, as well as the faculty and staff of the University, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution in March 2024 recognizing the Thomas More community for their persistence and responsiveness during the ever-changing environment that resulted from the ongoing public health crisis. This special acknowledgement was presented during the Exercises by Board of Trustees Chairperson Judith A. Marlowe ’69, Ph.D.

“In the fall of 2020, you began your journey to this degree, not knowing when normalcy might return. And today, you have succeeded,” Dr. Marlowe said, adding, “But for a very important reason; you persevered, you followed your dreams, even if it meant an unusual introduction to your Thomas More experience.” To listen to Dr. Marlowe’s remarks and presentation of this special recognition, CLICK HERE.

David Moore ’24 addressed the Class of 2024 as the Presidential Award honoree.

Individual accolades for outstanding graduates were also acknowledged with David Moore ’24 named as the Presidential Award honoree. Moore was a James Graham Brown Scholar and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, minors in business and law, and a certificate in ethical leadership and organizational management. He was the top undergraduate student among traditional students in his class who exemplified the mission of the university, recognized the importance of service to others, and created a positive environment on campus for students to thrive and engage more. “The only word that can describe our journey is resilience,” Moore said in his address to his classmates. “We persevered. Nothing can deter us from pursuing our dreams.” For a video of Moore’s full remarks, CLICK HERE.

Additional student recognition included Jessica Thomas ’24, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing. Thomas was recognized with the First Generation Student Award, presented each year to the student who exemplifies the mission of the university, demonstrates academic excellence, promotes a life of faith, and is the first person in their family to attend college. To listen to the Invocation prayer written and led by Thomas, CLICK HERE. Holly Jenkins ’20/’22/’24, who earned a Master of Arts in ethical leadership and organizational management, was honored with the Lifelong Learner Award for graduating top in her class, embodying the mission of the University and epitomizing what it is to be a student in the Thomas More accelerated program. Melinda Simpson Kellam ’22/’24 received the Dean’s Graduate Award as she earned a Master of Business Administration. The award is annually bestowed on a graduate student who has been top in their class and exemplifies the mission of the University and the importance of service to others.

Jessica Thomas ’24 was recognized with the First Generation Student Award and delivered the Invocation for the 2024 Commencement Exercises.

Faculty were also recognized for their excellence in teaching and service to the University with each college presenting an Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award. Recipients included James N. Camp, Ph.D., from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences; Wes Ryle, Ph.D., from the St. Elizabeth College of Natural and Health Sciences; and R. Steven Flynn, Ph.D., from the Robert W. Plaster College of Business. The Part-Time Faculty Award recipient was Elizabeth Cox from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

Graduates wave as they walk onto the field at Thomas More Stadium.

The graduating class boasts representatives from eight countries and 14 states, with three veterans among their ranks. Ninety-nine undergraduates receiving degrees were the first in their families to earn a higher education credential. Congratulations to the Class of 2024; cheers to their continued success.

For more information on Thomas More University’s annual commencement, please visit

For a photo gallery of additional commencement photos, click here.


About Thomas More University

Founded in 1921, Thomas More University stands as a beacon of academic excellence and innovation, challenging students to Make It More. Deeply rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, this timeless foundation supports a transformative educational experience as students looking to Be More are guided in the pursuit of knowledge, ethical leadership, and the integration of faith and reason. Through the high-quality, liberal arts education provided at Thomas More, students examine the ultimate meaning of life, their place in the world, and their responsibility to others which leads to the ability to think critically and contribute meaningfully to the world. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More takes its place as the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, being named one of the 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal.

Media Contact: Kristen Gallagher, Director of PR & Communications,