Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago will be awarded an honorary degree from Boston College and deliver the commencement address at the Jesuit university May 18, the school announced Thursday.

Cupich, installed as archbishop of Chicago in November to replace the ailing Cardinal Francis George, is viewed by many as the new leader of the politically moderate wing of the Catholic hierarchy in the United States.

He has spoken out frequently about the need for comprehensive immigration reform, social inequality, and he led the Catholic bishops’ committee to fight clergy sexual abuse.

“BC students are committed to social justice,” University spokesman Jack Dunn told The Heights, Boston College’s student newspaper. “Archbishop Blase Cupich is a proponent of social justice and a champion for the economically and socially disenfranchised.”

Boston College was founded in 1863, and more than 14,000 students are enrolled in the suburban Boston campus today.