Mount Mercy University honored 80 new master’s candidates, the largest cohort in the institution’s history, during a traditional hooding ceremony on Friday, May 18 in Hennessey Recreation Center. The candidates walked across the stage and received their diplomas during the commencement celebration on May 20 at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
President Christopher Blake welcomed family, friends and faculty to the traditional ceremony and recognized the work and achievement of the candidates in Mount Mercy’s four graduate programs, the Master of Business Administration (MBA), the Master of Arts in Education (MAEd), the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
During this, the third hooding ceremony in Mount Mercy’s history, the pioneer class of the MFT and MSN programs received their academic hoods, with 14 MFT and 11 MSN graduates represented.
Student speakers included Laura Sedlacek representing the MAEd program; Joseph Clark representing the MBA program; Shoshanna Guerrero representing the MFT program; and Trisha Swartzendruber representing the MSN program.
“I ask you to take the values and the mission of Mount Mercy and live it out in your lives – in your professional careers and in your community,” Blake told graduates. “It’s a degree of distinction from here on the Hill, where 100 years ago the Sisters of Mercy founded an education establishment with a vision that they could change the world from here. You are the new generation that will be the leaders in that world – and you have an awesome responsibility with this new advanced degree.”
Including this year’s cohort, Mount Mercy now has 159 alumni from the graduate programs, which launched in 2008 with 30 students. The programs currently hold nearly 300 graduate students.
Candidates were hooded by MAEd Program Director Dr. Dawn Behan, MFT Program Director Dr. Randy Lyle, MBA Program Director Dr. Deb Oliver, and MSN Program Director Dr. Kathryn Dolter, assisted by Tom Castle, interim assistant provost and dean of adult programs.