Newman University will stage a number of events May 10 and May 11 to celebrate Spring 2013 graduation.
Nurses' Pinning Ceremony
The annual Nurses' Pinning ceremony will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 10 in Performance Hall, inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center on the Newman campus. During the event, a tradition in the nursing discipline, the director of the School of Nursing and Allied Health will place nursing pins on graduate candidates' lapels as a symbol of their completion of the BSN program. The ceremony will also feature the naming of the Distinguished BSN Graduate Award.
Baccalaureate Mass and Reception
The Spring 2013 Baccalaureate Mass will be at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, in historic St. John's Chapel on the Newman campus. St. John's Chapel is located inside Sacred Heart Hall, the university's main administration building. 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.
Spring 2013 Commencement will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11 at Central Community Church, 6100 W. Maple. The ceremony will include the awarding of degrees to 30 candidates for associate's degrees, 183 candidates for bachelor's degrees, and 128 candidates for master's degrees for spring and summer 2013.
The ceremony will include an address by Newman University Associate Professor of Biology Michael Bradley, Ph.D. Bradley received the 2012 Newman University Teaching Excellence Award, an annual recognition to 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 fall and spring commencement ceremonies. Bradley is also an adjunct assistant professor, Small Group Discussion Leadership, at the Kansas University School of Medicine-Wichita.
During Commencement, Newman officials will bestow a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa degree on Captain Donald Bittner, M.D. The university awards honorary degrees 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.
Bittner will be recognized as an outstanding example of the university's Core Value of Global Perspective.
Bittner, a 1977 Newman graduate, is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and is considered one of Southern California's most respected specialists in reconstructive and microvascular surgery of the hand, wrist and elbow. Bittner, who has a long history of service in the U.S. Naval Reserves, volunteered for active duty when he learned of the Navy's need for surgeons in Afghanistan and other war zones. As chief medical officer of a large medical battalion in Afghanistan, he performed surgery 10 to 12 hours per day on U.S. soldiers and others, then traveled by helicopter to monitor crews under his watch. Bittner flew a U.S. flag over Kandahar in honor of Newman University. He presented the flag to Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. and the Newman community in 2011, when he received the university's Spirit of Acuto Transformational Leadership Award.
Bittner recently served as a deputy director at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. He is currently deputy surgeon for the 6th Fleet, U.S. Navy and lives in California. He practices orthopedic surgery, and is associate professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery, Hand at the University of California at Irvine.
Occupational Therapy Assistant Pinning Ceremony
The annual Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Pinning ceremony will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11 in Performance Hall, inside the De Mattias Fine Arts Center. The ceremony honors the completion of coursework and the beginning of two professional internships for students in the program. Upon completion of the internships, students prepare for a December 2013 graduation.