Newman University will honor Fall 2011 graduates with a variety of ceremonies set for Dec. 16 and 17.
Graduation festivities begin with the Nurses' Pinning ceremony, which will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16 in Performance Hall, inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center on the Newman campus. The event, which is held in December and May of each year for graduating nursing students, is a tradition in the nursing discipline that dates back approximately 130 years in the United States. At Newman, the director of the School of Nursing and Allied Health places nursing pins on graduate candidates' lapels as a symbol of their completion of the baccalaureate of science in nursing (BSN) program. The Newman pin is unique to the university, and was designed by the first graduating BSN class at what was then Kansas Newman College. The pinning ceremony will also feature the naming of the Distinguished BSN Graduate Award recipient.
The Fall 2011 Baccalaureate Mass will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, in the historic St. John's Chapel on the Newman campus. Mass will be followed by a reception at approximately 8 p.m. in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center, inside the Dugan Library and Campus Center on the Newman campus.
Fall 2011 Commencement will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17 at Central Community Church, 6100 W. Maple. The ceremony will include an address by Newman Associate Professor of Nursing Amy Siple. Siple received the 2010 Newman University Teaching Excellence Award, an annual recognition of a full-time faculty member who has demonstrated an innovative or dynamic approach to courses, course revisions, and teaching techniques. The award recipient also has the honor of speaking at the following fall and spring commencement ceremonies.
During Commencement, Newman officials will also bestow Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa degrees upon three notable and accomplished members of the extended Newman community. The honorary degrees are awarded at each fall and spring commencement to individuals whose life and work reflect exemplary dedication to one of the university's four Core Values: Catholic Identity, Culture of Service, Academic Excellence, and Global Perspective.
For the Fall 2011 ceremony, Clare Sander Vanderpool will be honored for Academic Excellence, and Guatemala missionaries Dani Brought, ASC and Kris Schrader, ASC will be recognized as models of Global Perspective.
Vanderpool is a Newman alumna who was awarded the prestigious Newbery Medal for her first published novel, Moon Over Manifest. The medal is bestowed annually by the American Library Association to recognize, "the best contribution to American children's literature." Brought and Schrader will be honored for their ministry of education and health care for the poor in Guatemala in the name of their religious order, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.