For the first time in its more than 80-year history, Master’s degrees will be conferred upon graduates at Mount Mercy’s Commencement, marking a milestone in the institution’s history.
In all, more than 400 students will graduate during this year’s Commencement, which will be held on Sunday, May 23 at 1:00 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center. Of those more than 400 students, 32 have earned their Master’s degrees in Business or Education. A special graduate degree hooding ceremony will take place on Friday, May 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Mercy to mark the accomplishments of Mount Mercy’s advanced degree holders.
“Mount Mercy is proud to honor our baccalaureate and graduate students on this important milestone in their lives and in Mount Mercy’s history as an institute of higher education,” says President Christopher Blake. “Mount Mercy’s mission has always been to meet the needs of society through strong education. Our history richly reflects that tradition of excellence, first as an academy, then as an undergraduate college, and soon as a university. Mount Mercy is proud to provide a new generation of learners an education at the Master’s level, as we continue to live out our mission in the community.”
Terry Waite, humanitarian, hostage negotiator, and author of Taken on Trust, will deliver the keynote address at Commencement, “The Power of the Human Spirit: Turning Misfortune into Positive Action.” Waite garnered international recognition in the 1980s when, as a special envoy to the Archbishop of Canterbury, he successfully negotiated the release of hostages in Iran and then Libya. A world-renowned agent of peace, he is a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit.
Jennifer Leigh Petersen, a nursing major from Cedar Rapids, will serve as the student speaker. Petersen co-captained the Dance Team, participated in the M2AP Board (Mount Mercy Activities Programming Board) and the Emerging Leaders program, serves as secretary of the Kappa Xi chapter (Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society), and is on the Dean’s List. In 2007-08, Petersen was nominated for sophomore of the year. She was a participant in Undergraduate Scholars Day in 2010 and has also served two years as an Orientation Leader.