Commencement Ceremonies May 3 and 4
MidAmerica Nazarene University honored its largest graduating class ever at the 43rd annual commencement ceremonies May 3 and 4, 2014. A total of 783 graduates, 556 of which were undergraduates, enjoyed perfect spring weather for the festivities. Professional and Graduate Studies graduates and their families celebrated on May 3, while traditional undergraduates and families celebrated May 4. Both ceremonies were held at College Church of the Nazarene.
A highlight of Baccalaureate is the Harvest Prayer Ceremony, held each year on the Campus Mall in Legacy Circle. As freshmen, traditional undergraduates hold a “sowing service” in the location as they commit themselves to an education grounded in a pursuit of excellence and Christian service. As graduates they return to reap the harvest of their education and receive a sending prayer from university President David Spittal.
The commencement speaker for both ceremonies was Commander Brian D. Weigelt, CHC, USN, (’93), deputy joint staff chaplain, Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. Cmdr. Weigelt told graduates to remember their original purpose in earning their degrees stating that the “why” of their education would continue to be meaningful wherever life takes them.
This year two individuals were awarded honorary degrees. Rev. Michael G. Palmer, (’79), Missouri District Superintendent and MNU Board of Trustees member, and Cmd. Brian D. Weigelt, (’93), CHC, USN, received the Doctor of Divinity from MNU. Professor of Biology Stephen Cole, PhD, was honored with emeriti status. Adjunct Professor Duane Buchanan received the Robert I. Brower Award for teaching excellence recognizing faculty in Professional and Graduate Studies.
Two traditional undergraduates earned the highest academic honor given by MNU. Ministry major Luke Letsinger and nursing major Hannah Young received the American Heritage Award. Young was also commissioned 1st Lieutenant in the Air Force.