SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Members of the Seton Hall University Class of 2012 will don blue robes and caps for their trip across the stage at the 155th commencement ceremony on Monday, May 21 at the Izod Center in Rutherford.

Scott Chesney, Seton Hall alumnus, Class of 1992, and executive director of Raise Hope Foundation, will be this year's commencement speaker. Chesney, who suffered a spinal stroke while in high school, graduated with a degree in communication. Chesney used his skills as a motivational speaker to work with the Pirate men’s basketball team this season.

The foundation, based in Verona, works to train people with disabilities and assist them in finding careers in financial services, according to its website.

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Graduate “hooding” ceremonies began on Tuesday with the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and will conclude on Saturday evening with the hooding of graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The ROTC commissioning ceremony is scheduled for May 22, and the Seton Hall University School of Law commencement is May 25 at the Prudential Center in Newark.

The Galleon lawn is the site of the President’s Reception, scheduled after the Mass of Academic Investiture in the Fieldhouse. Academic achievements will be recognized at the Undergraduate Academic Awards Ceremony at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Mary Kirk Rawn, Seton Hall University’s associate provost for International Programs and Academic Support Services, said she hopes seniors enjoy these last moments in life before walking across the stage Monday.

"Look back on your college years to the times that you were most successful – remember those times and strive for excellence in all your future efforts," she said in an e-mail interview. "Enjoy this time in your life!"

South Orange residents also had some advice for graduating seniors (see related story).

The co-chair of SHU’s Commencement Committee since 2005, Rawn said that Senior Class President Audra Quintin will be the senior class speaker this year. The valedictorian has not yet been named.

Matthew Gould is a journalism major at Seton Hall University.