MMU celebrates largest graduating undergraduate class at Commencement 2017

Degrees were bestowed upon 439 undergraduate students—the most in Mount Mercy history—and 111 graduate students during the university’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony, held Sunday, May 21, at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Cedar Rapids.

During the ceremony, University President Laurie Hamen, J.D., awarded Mount Mercy’s two highest honors for graduates. Capria Davis, a multimedia mass communications major and Cedar Rapids native, received the Mary Frances Warde Award. Bianca Kesselring, a human resource management and management major, received the Mary Catherine McAuley Award. Kesselring, also a native of Cedar Rapids, was also selected as the ceremony’s student speaker.

During her speech, Kesselring reflected on the fervor she found in others that sparked her own passion and enthusiasm, and asked fellow graduates to live courageous lives; give their time, talents, and treasures; and to carry on the mission of the Sisters of Mercy.

“When asked to define what living a life of courage means—as a Mount Mercy student, staff member, and in a matter of hours an alum—I believe it means saying ‘yes’ to the call of living a life full of compassion and service,” said Kesselring, who was recently hired to work in the Office of Admissions as campus visit coordinator.

Hamen awarded three faculty members with emeritus status: Professor of Business Kathryn Coulter, J.D.; Professor of Psychology Ronald Feldt, Ph.D.; Professor of Religious Studies Charlotte Martin, Ph.D. 

She concluded the ceremony with heartfelt congratulations and prompted graduates to continue their journey in life-long education.

“I hope you see this day as the continuation, rather than the end, of your learning endeavor,” Hamen said. “While your school work is done—for now—your life’s work has just begun. There's so much more to learn, do and accomplish!”

» Find photos and video from Commencement 2017 here.

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