Seton Hill University is pleased to announce that Dr. Jerome Oetgen, Counselor for Public Affairs at the United States Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, will provide the commencement address at its May 15 commencement ceremony. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Oetgen has served as a diplomat with the United States State Department since 1987. Oetgen will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Seton Hill University.

Jerome Oetgen is the Counselor for Public Affairs at the United States Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He previously served at United States Embassies in Spain, Italy, Ecuador and Paraguay. During a three-year time period between foreign assignments, Oetgen was working in Washington, D.C. as a desk officer for Central America. Later, he became director of the Fulbright program for Latin America and the Caribbean. Before entering the Foreign Service, Oetgen was a tenured professor of English at Seton Hill University. He also taught at Saint Vincent College and the University of Pittsburgh and was a visiting professor of English literature at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, the University of Hebei in China, and the Vilnius University in Lithuania, where he was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer. Oetgen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Vincent College, Master of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina and Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Toronto.

Oetgen is the author of “An American Abbot” (a biography of Boniface Wimmer, the Benedictine monk from Metten Abbey, Germany, who founded Saint Vincent Archabbey, Seminary, and College in 1846) and of “Mission to America: A History of Saint Vincent Archabbey,” the First Benedictine Monastery in the United States, both published by the Catholic University of America Press. He is also the author of numerous articles on the history of the Benedictine Order in the United States and has given numerous lectures and conference papers in the United States, Latin America and Europe.

Oetgen and his wife, Cecilia Lopez, a native of Madrid, Spain, have three daughters, Mercedes and Teresa, university students studying in Spain, and a newly-adopted daughter, Theresa, from Haiti.