Commencement 2018 exercises to be held May 20


Mount Mercy University will hold Commencement 2018 exercises on Sunday, May 20, at 1 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Mount Mercy will confer degrees upon approximately 380 undergraduate students and 170 students in graduate programs. Three members of faculty will be given emeritus status: Professor of Biology Neil Bernstein, Ph.D.; Professor of Mathematics John Robeson, Ph.D.; and Provost Jan Handler, Ed.D.

Ricardo Etienne, a native of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, was chosen as the student speaker. Etienne is graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in management with a minor in accounting. He represented Mount Mercy at the 2017 National Conference on Student Leadership; was awarded a full scholarship to attend the 2017 Bill Clinton International Global Leadership Conference; is an active member of Mount Mercy’s National Society of Leadership and Success chapter, Sigma Pi; and is a member of the International and Spanish clubs. Etienne is also a student athlete on the soccer and track and field teams.

Outside of Mount Mercy, Etienne’s passion to better the world can be seen in his two nonprofit organizations. He is co-founder and CEO of Volition & Action for Haiti, a nonprofit that teaches spiritual growth, encourages educational experience, and promotes social, economic, and cultural development to Haiti’s children and young adults. He also founded a local food system nonprofit to educate farmers about economically sustainable agricultural resources.

Those who are not able to travel for commencement are welcome to watch a live stream of the event, which can be found the day of commencement at

A schedule of MMU commencement activities includes:

Friday, May 18

Honors Convocation

4 p.m., Chapel of Mercy, Busse Center

Masters Hooding Ceremony

7 p.m., Gym, Hennessey Recreation Center

Masters Hooding Reception

8 p.m., Sisters of Mercy University Center Commons

Saturday, May 19

Nursing Pinning Ceremony

9:30 a.m., Gym, Hennessey Recreation Center

Sunday, May 20

Commencement Mass

9:30 a.m., Chapel of Mercy, Busse Center

Commencement Ceremony

1 p.m., U.S. Cellular Center

Commencement Reception

3:30 p.m., Grand Ballroom, DoubleTree by Hilton

For more information on Mount Mercy’s commencement activities, please visit

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