Mount Mercy University celebrates record online program graduates at Commencement 2018

Commencement 2018

Degrees were bestowed upon 381 undergraduate students and 172 graduate students during Mount Mercy University’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony, held Sunday, May 20, at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Celebrating a record-breaking year, Mount Mercy graduated 60 undergraduate online program students.

During the ceremony, University President Laurie Hamen, J.D. awarded Mount Mercy’s two highest honors for graduates. Jordyn Lehman, a triple major from Iowa City, Iowa, received the Mary Frances Warde Award. Kennidee DeVilbiss, a nursing major from Ossian, Iowa, received the Mary Catherine McAuley Award.

Ricardo Etienne, a native of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, was chosen as the ceremony’s student speaker. During his speech, Etienne shared three principles he lives by: smile and be optimistic, be thankful, and give back to the community.

“Each of you are unique and magnificent human beings,” Etienne said. “Of all the billions of people on Earth, there is not another you. Your very existence is vital to the functioning of this world, because you are one part of the whole world. Therefore, let us to be change we want to see in the world.”

Hamen awarded three faculty members with emeritus status: Professor of Biology Neil Bernstein, Ph.D.; Associate Professor of Mathematics John Robeson, Ph.D.; and Provost Jan Handler, Ed.D. 

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

“Mount Mercy University Class of 2018, we are better for the experience of knowing you,” Hamen said. “I charge you to become people who grow in lives of learning, faith, courage, and compassion. Be inspired to live lives of service and gratitude.”

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