Midland University Celebrates the Class of 2021
Midland University celebrated its Class of 2021 during a commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 8th at the Wikert Event Center. A class of 331 students earned their degrees, with 220 taking part in the ceremony.
Dr. Seria Chatters ‘00, Director of Equity and Inclusivity of State College Area School District in State College, Pennsylvania, served as keynote speaker. Dr. Chatters was presented with an honorary doctorate diploma from Midland University President Jody Horner.
Chatters praised Midland students for their fortitude in working through flooding in the Fremont area in the spring of 2019, and navigating the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 14 months. “Congratulations to every single graduate in this room and at home,” Dr. Chatters said. “You have tackled tremendous odds. You literally lived through a flood and a pandemic. Some may have experienced a flood, but no one in your generation to date can say that they survived a pandemic and graduated.”
The Graduate Student speaker was Holly Murphy, Master of Education, who talked about the need for everyone to work together toward a common goal. “Today, our community has achieved something worth celebrating,” she said. “We have accomplished something to improve ourselves and pursue our passions amid a global pandemic, and we accomplished it together. As we move forward in our lives, remember to nurture your communities. Take pride in our community because whatever happens next, we are doing it together.”
Heather Bills, Nursing Degree, spoke of an exciting future that awaits all Midland graduates. “As we are finishing all of our lasts, we are also about to experience new firsts,” she said. “Some of us have decided to move on and get a job within our degree field while others have chosen to continue with their schooling. Some of us are buying homes, having kids, and starting our families. I am genuinely excited to see where our future takes all of us.”
Theo Blum, a biology major from Wahoo, Nebraska, was presented with the John H. Prauner Award. Blum was a member of the Warrior football team, a former student senate president, and a leader both on campus and in the community. The Prauner Award is presented annually to a graduate who exemplifies the spirit, academic achievement, and service to the university as did John Prauner. While at Midland in the mid 1970s, Prauner was President of the Kappa Phi Fraternity, treasurer of Phi Beta Lambda, a member of the business honorary society, a member of the Warrior football team, and was named to the Who’s Who list his senior year.
Music for the ceremony was provided by Midland University students Rebecca Gernandt and Renzellous Brown as well as the Midland University Band, under the direction of Rex Barker.