Campus Communications

Acclaimed Sports Columnist Christine Brennan and Finance Executive Andrew Kayiira '04 to Deliver Marist Commencement Addresses Honoring Class of 2024

Commencement 2023. Photo by Carlo de Jesus/Marist College.

March 27, 2024 — Christine Brennan, one of the nation’s most celebrated sports columnists, will address undergraduates of the Class of 2024 at Marist College’s Commencement on Saturday, May 18, on the Campus Green. Brennan is a best-selling author, sports columnist for USA TODAY, and commentator for CNN, ABC News, PBS NewsHour, and National Public Radio.

Throughout her distinguished career, Brennan has broken numerous barriers, serving as the first woman sportswriter at The Miami Herald and later as the first woman to cover Washington's NFL team as a staff writer at The Washington Post. Additionally, she was the inaugural president of the Association for Women in Sports Media and has since spearheaded a scholarship-internship program that has supported more than 200 students over the past two decades.

Image of Christine Brennan.

Christine Brennan will address traditional undergraduates of the Class of 2024 at Marist College's Commencement ceremony. 

In 2002, Brennan ignited a national conversation with her USA TODAY column addressing Augusta National Golf Club's exclusion of female members at the time. Recognized multiple times by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) as one of the country's top 10 sports columnists, she has covered the past 20 Olympic Games, both summer and winter.

Brennan was named the winner of the prestigious Red Smith Award for 2020, presented annually by APSE to a person who has made “major contributions to sports journalism.”

“I’m thrilled to be coming to Marist College to give the 2024 Commencement address,” said Brennan. “I had the wonderful opportunity to meet many Marist students at an event in New York City two years ago and was so impressed by them: their questions, their interest, their desire to excel. So, I’m really looking forward to coming to campus and spending even more time with the students. This is quite an honor, and I’m very thankful for the opportunity.”

Graduate Speaker to Receive Distinguished Alumni Medal

Adult undergraduate, master's, and doctoral students will be honored Friday night, May 17, by Andrew Lutakome Kayiira Jr., an accomplished capital markets executive and alumnus of the Class of 2004, who will serve as Commencement speaker. Kayiira will receive the Distinguished Alumni Medal, the highest honor for a Marist graduate.

Kayiira is the co-founder Eden Point Partners, LLC, a capital markets advisory firm, where he is responsible for the development of client-centric technology and operational transformation strategies. He is a well-respected industry voice who previously was Head of Capital Markets Technology & Operations Strategy at Bank of Montreal.

Image of Andrew Lutakome Kayiira Jr. ’04

Andrew Lutakome Kayiira Jr. ’04 will address adult undergraduate, master's, and doctoral students of the Class of 2024 and receive the Distinguished Alumni Medal.

Kayiira’s connections to the College are deep. His father, Dr. Andrew Lutakome Kayiira, served as a criminal justice professor at Marist in the 1980s, and later became Uganda's Minister of Energy. Dr. Kayiira was tragically assassinated there in 1987. In his honor, Marist established the Andrew Lutakome Kayiira Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice. His mother, Betty (Mutema) Kayiira, was also a long-tenured Marist employee.

"I literally grew up on the Marist campus, from attending the nursery school program in McCann as a child to participating in Marist's Little People's Summer Camp while my father was a professor," said Kayiira. "I visited my mother on campus while she worked there in the early '90s. As a student, I met my wife, Heather (Slizewski), there, and we've been happily together for nearly 25 years. I'm a proud graduate and am honored to speak at this Commencement."

“I am grateful to have Christine and Andrew join us in honoring the Class of 2024 at this year’s Commencement,” said Marist College President Kevin Weinman. “Their professional accomplishments and personal stories are bold and inspiring. I know our graduates will learn a great deal from them and begin this next chapter as Marist alumni motivated to improve the world.”

About Marist College’s 2024 Commencement Ceremonies

Commencement events will stream live on the Marist website, If severe weather is forecast, Marist may make alternate arrangements based on weather conditions.

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