General Peter Pace, United States Marine Corps (Retired)
The Ave Maria School of Law 2015 Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient will be General Peter Pace retired from active duty on October 1, 2007, after more than 40 years of service in the United States Marine Corps.
General Pace was sworn in as sixteenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sep. 30, 2005. In this capacity, he served as the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council. Prior to becoming Chairman, he served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Pace holds the distinction of being the first Marine to have served in either of these positions.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Teaneck, NJ, General Pace was commissioned in June 1967, following graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Administration from George Washington University, attended the Harvard University Senior Executives in National and International Security program, and graduated from the National War College.
During his distinguished career, General Pace has held command at virtually every level, beginning as a Rifle Platoon Leader in Vietnam. He also served as Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment; Commanding Officer of the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C.; Deputy Commander, Marine Forces Somalia; Deputy Commander, Joint Task Force Somalia; Director of Operations for the Joint Staff; Commander, U.S., Marine Forces Atlantic/Europe/South; and Commander in Chief, US Southern Command.
In June, 2008, General Pace was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor a President can bestow.
General Pace is currently serving on the Board of Directors of several corporate entities involved in management consulting, private equity, and IT security. He is a member of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Senior Advisory Group, and has served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, and the Secretary of Defense’s Defense Policy Board. He also served as leader-in-residence and the Poling Chair of Business and Government for the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. He is a Distinguished Visiting Research Scholar for Fordham University, and an Adjunct Faculty member of Georgetown University.
General Pace is associated with a number of charities focused on supporting the troops and their families, to include: He is Chairman of the Board for Wall Street Warfighters Foundation, an organization that provides training support and job placement services for disabled veterans interested in careers in the financial services industry. He is a long-standing member of the Board of Directors for the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation – a charity that provides scholarship bonds to children of Marines or Federal law enforcement personnel who were killed while serving our country. He serves on the Advisory Board for Snowball Express, a charity focused on providing positive activities for children of our fallen military members. He and his wife Lynne are on the advisory board for Our Military Kids, an organization that supports children of deployed Guard and Reserve personnel with tutoring and enrichment activities.
General Pace and his wife, Lynne, have a son, Peter; a daughter, Tiffany; a daughter-in-law, Lynsey Olczak Pace; and three grandchildren, Linden, Hadley, and Holden Pace.
Student Commencement Speaker
Christopher M. Antonino
Christopher M. Antonino was born and raised in Queens, New York, the oldest of Jeanne and Jerry Antonino’s eight children. He attended Archbishop Molloy High School and St. Francis College in Brooklyn. At St. Francis, he participated in Division I soccer and then played semi-professionally for the Brooklyn Knights and the New York Cosmos.
Mr. Antonino began his legal studies at Ave Maria School of Law in August, 2012, where he was an active participant in campus activities as a member of the Knights of Columbus and was elected as a Senator to the Student Bar Association. He also was a member of the Moot Court Board, serving as its President in his third year. After graduation, Mr. Antonino plans to return to New York.