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Posted at 12:46 PM ET, 05/15/2010

Rev. gives final grad speech at Catholic U.

By Washington Post Editors

The Very Rev. David M. O’Connell delivered his final commencement speech as president of the Catholic University of America on Saturday, telling 1,400 graduates to "to do something great."

O’Connell, 55, is one of the longest-serving college or university presidents in the Washington region, having led the Northeast Washington school since 1998. He announced this fall that he would leave the post in August, saying he felt "tired after a very active 12 years."

A Catholic University search committee has conducted two rounds of interviews with applicants and has said it hopes to have O’Connell’s replacement selected by Sept. 1.

O’Connell is one of three university presidents within a few hours’ drive of Washington who have announced their resignations in the past year. University of Maryland President C.D. Mote Jr. and University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III are both stepping down in August. Mote has served 12 years at Maryland; Casteen has been at Virginia for 20 years.

-- Derek Kravitz

By Washington Post Editors  | May 15, 2010; 12:46 PM ET
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