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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Loyola University’s graduating class of 2023 will have the honor of hearing inspiring words from two of Louisiana’s very own at their upcoming commencement ceremonies.

Grammy Award-winning musician and Metairie native Jon Batiste is set to address the undergraduate and graduate class on Saturday (May 13).

The five-time Grammy award winner comes from a family of prominent musicians and is deeply rooted in New Orleans being a graduate of NOCCA (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts) in his early years. He then went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard. 

Other awards commemorating his successes are an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, an NAACP Image Award, and Critic’s Choice Award for his work in the famous Disney/Pixar movie “Soul”. His notable appearances include the White House, Kennedy Center Honors, US Open, and the NBA All-Star Game all while serving as the musical director and bandleader on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” from 2015-2022.

Loyola’s graduating class of 2020 received a great musical gift when Batiste performed his original composition dedicated to the class entitled “Loyola Class of 2020 Shake.”

“Jon embodies the creativity and vibrancy that make our city and our campus so unique,” said Fr. Justin Daffron, S.J. “I can’t think of a better speaker to energize and inspire our graduates as they prepare to take the next step in their journey.”

The ceremony is set to start at 10 a.m.

The university also announced Loyola University New Orleans College of Law class of 1970 graduate, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier, will deliver the commencement speech for the College of Law graduating class on Friday (March 12).

New Orleanian and newly retired Judge Barbier served 24 years on the bench in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Through the years he has served as president of the Louisiana Association for Justice, president of the New Orleans Bar Association, and president of the Thomas More Loyola Inn of Court.

Barbier also served on the board of the Loyola Law Alumni Association where in 2018 became the recipient of the highest honor in the alumni association, the St. Ives Award.

One of the most complex cases he’s presided over includes the litigations over the largest oil spill in history, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, involving tens of thousands of cases.

Those wishing to hear the two give their speeches can view the live streams of both ceremonies on the universities website and Youtube page.

The ceremony is set to start at 6 p.m.

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