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Full video coverage of commencement.
Wednesday evening, Bellarmine University awarded 268 degrees — 100 to undergraduates and 168 to graduate students — at its annual December commencement ceremony.
Among the degree recipients was Faustin Ndagijimana, a native of Rwanda who fled genocide in his homeland and eventually — thanks to a Franciscan nun who paid for his plane ticket — arrived in Louisville as a refugee in 1997.
“When I came to America, I didn’t know English,” said Ndagijimana. “I had to learn English not only for the purpose of everyday communication, but also for going back to school and finishing the studies that I interrupted when I left Rwanda.”
Believing education would be the key to success in the U.S., Ndagijimana enrolled in community college. Tonight, he received a master’s degree in taxation.
Thomas L. Thomas
Thomas L. Thomas — a 1976 Bellarmine alumnus and trustee who has worked in technology leadership roles for companies such as Dell Computer, 3Com, Palm and Kraft — delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree.
“In your lifetime, information is going to be completely ubiquitous,” Thomas told the graduates. “It’s going be an equalizer — every person on the planet with access to every piece of information known.”
He added that today’s graduates will play a role in determining how that expanded access to information impacts notions of privacy, integrity and honesty.
Thomas has 40 years of business experience spanning several industries, including 25 years as a chief information officer and technology leader and progressing to CEO of several public and private companies.
Currently, he is the managing partner of T2 Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment company investing in a broad range of leading technologies and businesses.
Thomas grew up in Louisville and currently lives with his wife, Sandra, in St. Petersburg, Florida.