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MU’s Class of 2018 last to graduate at BMO Harris Bradley Center: ‘Adds another layer of emotion’

Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan

MILWAUKEE -- Thousands of Marquette University students on Sunday, May 20 moved their tassels from right to left and earned their diplomas. Jeannie Gaffigan, a Marquette alumna, and her husband Jim, Marquette's commencement speakers, encouraged new graduates to make a pledge.

"Good morning honored graduates of...what's that word?" said Jim Gaffigan.

"Marquette," said Jeannie Gaffigan.

Comic Jim Gaffigan and his other half addressed Marquette's Class of 2018 on Sunday. A Golden Eagle herself, Jeannie Gaffigan's roots are in Milwaukee.

"It's pretty surreal," said Jeannie Gaffigan.

"Wait, this is Milwaukee? But it's not snowing outside," said Jim Gaffigan.

The couple's banter cracked the audience up.

"I really like how they played off of each other a little bit. She did a lot of the serious speaking and Jim would kind of come in with some jokes and stuff," said Joel Snyder, Marquette graduate.

"I thought they were funny. They kept it entertaining but also very inspirational and motivating," said Sarah Bromley, Marquette graduate.

The Gaffigans also took the crowd through one of their recent tests of faith.

Jeannie and Jim Gaffigan

"A routine MRI for hearing loss revealed I had a massive tumor severely compressing my brain stem," said Jeannie Gaffigan.

"In all seriousness, we have made a pledge to find the gratitude and miracle in everything," said Jim Gaffigan.

That's a pledge they encouraged Marquette graduates to make as they take on new challenges head-first.

The Class of 2018 was the last to receive their diplomas inside the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

"All the basketball memories we have here and all the commencement memories people have here -- definitely adds another layer of emotion to it for us," said Chris Jenkins, Marquette University spokesman.

Jim Gaffigan, closing the show on this day, will be one of the first to take the stage in the new Bucks' arena.

"It's kind of like a wedding. I don't want to see the new arena before I perform there," said Jim Gaffigan.

Congratulations to all of the Marquette University graduates who earned their diplomas on this special day!