Founder of Mercy Beyond Borders and first male minority nursing dean in the U.S. to speak at SXU’s 2012 Spring Commencement

Founder and executive director of Mercy Beyond Borders Sr. Marilyn Lacey, RSM, and UCLA School of Nursing, Medicine and Public Health Dean Courtney H. Lyder, N.D., G.N.P., F.A.A.N., will speak at Saint Xavier University's 2012 Spring Commencement on Sun., May 13.

Lacey will speak at the undergraduate ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. Lyder will speak at the graduate ceremony, which begins at 3 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held in the Shannon Center Main Arena at SXU's Chicago campus, 3700 W. 103rd St. Lacey and Lyder both will receive honorary degrees. A reception will follow each ceremony in the SXU Diner in the Warde Academic Center. 

Sr. Lacey is a Sister of Mercy who has since 1980 worked with refugees, migrants, and other displaced persons overseas and in domestic resettlement. After 21 years of working for Catholic Charities, Sr. Lacey started Mercy Beyond Borders in 2008. Its mission is to partner with displaced women and children overseas in ways that help them move up from extreme poverty. Sr. Lacey has spent time in some of the most war-ravaged places on Earth, including the Lao-Thai border, Sudanese and Somali camps in Kenya, and with internally displaced persons in the Eastern Equatoria region of Sudan. She also has worked extensively with the Lost Boys of Sudan, helping them to resettle safely in the United States.

Sr. Lacey was honored by the Dalai Lama in 2001 as an “Unsung Hero of Compassion” for her life of service with refugees. She is a frequent presenter to groups and schools throughout the U.S on refugee and migration issues. She holds a master's degree in social work from the University of California Berkeley.

Lyder is dean and professor of the UCLA School of Nursing, Medicine and Public Health; executive director of the UCLA Patient Safety Institute; and assistant director of the UCLA Health System. He is the first African-American to serve as a dean at UCLA and is the first male minority nursing dean in the United States. Lyder also was an assistant professor of nursing at Saint Xavier University from 1991 to 1994.

Lyder is an international expert in gerontology. His clinical research has focused on chronic care issues affecting older adults. More specifically, he has focused his attention on pressure ulcer prevention (bed sores), identifying erythema in darkly pigmented skin, wound healing, quality improvement in skilled nursing facilities and elder patient safety. Lyder has more than 200 publications and has been awarded more than $22 million in research and training grants. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the New York Academy of Medicine. In 2011, he was appointed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research.

For more information about SXU's 2012 Spring Commencement, please visit, keyword: commencement or contact 773-298-3867 or