SJU Class of 2024 Commencement Celebration

Document Type


Publication Date



May 11, 2024
The One Hundred Sixty-Seventh Year

Abbey & University Church
Saint John's University

Paul Williams, a 1984 Saint John’s University graduate and president and CEO of Project for Pride in Living, Inc., delivered the Saint John’s University commencement address at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11 in Saint John's Abbey and University Church.

Williams addressed the 2024 Saint John’s graduating class of 355 undergraduate men and 38 School of Theology and Seminary graduates.

Jackson May, a summa cum laude graduating economics and history double major from Monticello, Minnesota was the student commencement speaker.

Project for Pride in Living, Inc., (PPL) is one of Minnesota’s premier multi-service community development organizations. A St. Paul native, Williams brings an extensive background in affordable housing, economic development, education and diversity, equity, and inclusion to PPL. PPL provides affordable housing to over 3,500 individuals and families on a nightly basis and delivers employment training and education to close to 8,000 individuals annually.

Prior to PPL, Williams served as St. Paul’s deputy mayor, where he spearheaded affordable housing and community development investments for the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Serving first as Twin Cities LISC’s executive director, and then for five years as LISC’s national senior vice president for field strategies. Prior to his work at LISC, Williams served as a grant maker with the Minneapolis and Saint Paul community foundations, as well as vice president of allocations for the United Way of St. Paul.

Williams is active on numerous community boards, business-led Itasca Project, and the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs Dean’s Advisory Council. Williams holds a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School and a B.A. in government from SJU.

Streaming Media