MidAmerica Nazarene University celebrated its 41st annual Commencement Saturday, May 5 for graduate, and adult studies and Sunday, May 6 for traditional undergraduates, with a combined total of 680 graduates.

In his commencement address on Saturday MNU President Dr. David Spittal encouraged the graduates to celebrate the moment but to press on for the future that God has planned for them. Dr. Carla Sunberg, MNU alumna and co-district superintendent of the East Ohio district of the Church of the Nazarene addressed the traditional commencement gathering on Sunday. Having served in leadership positions in churches and for non-profits internationally, Sunberg’s perspective inspired enthusiastic response from the audience.

Two graduates, Lauren Brumley and Ashford Collins-Johnson, received the American Heritage Award, the highest honor given to traditional undergraduates. Top graduates from several programs were chosen to participate in the ceremonies; conducting Heritage Choir, leading prayer and giving scripture readings.

Retiring nursing professor Virginia R. Schafer, PhD, was awarded emeritus status for 32 years of excellence in teaching at MNU. Daniel Rexroth, president and CEO of John Knox Village, a leading continuing care retirement community in Lee’s Summit, Mo., was honored with the Distinguished Community Service Award in recognition for his service to the MNU Board of Trustees in facilitating the seven-month executive search process for MNU’s new president in 2011-12.

Activities over the weekend also included the School of Nursing and Health Science’s Nursing Pinning and MNU’s traditional Harvest Prayer Ceremony held on the Campus Mall after Baccalaureate. More than 6,000 people were estimated in attendance over the two days of events.

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