Midland University honored graduates this weekend who earned both bachelor and master level degrees with a full lineup of events and celebrations.
On Friday, May 6th, 75 graduate students were honored during a ceremony at the Wikert Event Center. Elijah Shaul, who earned his Master of Business Administration degree, served as the student speaker during the Graduate Commencement. Degrees were presented by Dr. George Conrad, Todd Conkright, Dr. Megan Nielsen, and Dr. Linda Quinn for Master of Athletic Training, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, and Master of Science – Adult and Organizational Learning.
Midland University also honored its Class of 2022 during its undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on May 7th at the Wikert Event Center. Midland recognized 232 students, with 225 taking part in the ceremony. Degrees were presented by Dr. George Conrad, Todd Conkright, Dr. Megan Nielsen, and Dr. Linda Quinn from the colleges of Walker School of Education, Dunklau School of Business, Luther College of Arts & Sciences, and College of Health Professions.
Bishop Brian Maas, who has served as bishop of the Nebraska Synod of the ELCA since 2012, served as commencement speaker for the undergraduate ceremony. Maas praised students for their perseverance and their willingness to continue on their path to a degree during the flooding of 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020. “You have shown grit, resilience, flexibility, and adaptability that will prepare you well for the future,” he said. “I want you to take that diploma with you as evidence for yourself, should you ever begin to doubt yourself or forget what it is that has brought you to the achievement of this day. Take that diploma with you as a ticket for a future that waits for you, a future you can face with great hope, real encouragement, and true confidence because you have been equipped for it.”
Monica Weber, a Human Services major from Columbus, Nebraska, was the student speaker. She encouraged her fellow graduates to be prepared for any situation the world may throw at them and to lean on what they have learned to overcome adversity. “There are going to be challenges that will push you harder than others,” she said. “It will be rough, but when times are hard, look inside yourself, take a deep breath, and think back to this moment. I feel so lucky to be telling you how we are all victorious today. This is a statement to the world that we’ve overcome so much. We did it, and we will do it again.”
Lucas Weyrich, a Psychology major from Bad Urach, Germany, was awarded the John H. Prauner Award. 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 was provided by the Midland University band, under the direction of Rex Barker, and Midland University choir, under the direction of Joel Johnston.
In addition to the main graduation ceremonies, 14 graduating nurses were honored at the institution’s 50th Nurse Pinning Ceremony on May 6th. The service was at Sinai Lutheran Church and was hosted by faculty and alumni from the School of Nursing.
A blessing was bestowed upon all graduates at the university Baccalaureate Ceremony held on campus in Kimmel Theatre Friday evening. The ceremony was hosted by Rev. Scott Johnson, Director of Campus Ministries. Kyler Peetz and Olivia Engel gave student reflections and Dr. Coutney Wilder reflected on behalf of the faculty. Special music was performed by Renzellous Brown, and graduating seniors Monica Weber and Brian Neely. Those present at the Baccalaureate Ceremony prayed for and blessed the entire graduating class of 2022, each of whom was represented by a candle lit at the beginning of the ceremony.See More Commencement Photos