Newman University to hold Spring 2014 graduation activities May 9-10

May 01, 2014

Newman University will stage a number of events May 9 and May 10 to celebrate Spring 2014 graduation.

Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony
The annual Nurses’ Pinning ceremony will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 9 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 2014 Baccalaureate Mass will be at 7 p.m. Friday, May 9, 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.

Spring 2014 Commencement will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 10 at Central Community Church, 6100 W. Maple. The ceremony will include the awarding of degrees to 30 candidates for associate’s degrees, 224 candidates for bachelor’s degrees, and 160 candidates for master’s degrees.

The ceremony will include the naming of the 2014 recipients of the Harvey J. Ablah Award and the Leona J. Ablah Award. The awards are presented each year to a graduating male and a graduating female student who exemplify the spirit of Newman University. The ceremony will also include an address by Newman University Associate Professor of Nursing Joan Melzer. Melzer received the 2013 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.

Honorary Degree – Kathy and Patrick O’Shaughnessy

Kathy and Patrick O'Shaughnessy
Kathy and Patrick O’Shaughnessy

During Commencement, Newman officials will also bestow a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa degree on Kathy and Patrick O’Shaughnessy. Honorary degrees are awarded at each fall and spring commencement to notable and accomplished members of the extended Newman community 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. The O’Shaughnessys are being honored for Catholic Identity for their devotion to their faith and commitment to the Church, Catholic education and the Newman community.

Patrick has served on the Board of what was then Kansas Newman College, including a term as Chairman. The O’Shaughnesseys have been generous contributors to Newman, including their gift that helped create the O’Shaughnessy Hall sports complex, and the Dugan Library and Campus Center.

The O’Shaughnessys are devoted to their six grown children and 16 grandchildren, and are strong supporters of their parish, The Church of The Magdalen, where Patrick served as honorary chair of the most recent capital campaign and Kathy has been active in the church’s Bible Study, pro-life activities and other groups. Patrick has served multiple terms on the Finance and Investment Committees of the Diocese of Wichita, and was on the Board of Holy Family Center and a strong contributor to the agency’s work for educable individuals with mental disabilities. In 1998 Kathy was named a Dame and Patrick was named a Knight Commander to the Order of Saint Gregory the Great, a Papal Order given for conspicuous service to the Church and society.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Pinning
The annual Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Pinning ceremony will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10 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 will receive their degrees in December 2014.


This article has been revised to include the following updates:
Update: May 7, 2014
This article includes more detailed information regarding Commencement and the awarding of an honorary degree to Kathy and Patrick O’Shaughnessy than a previous version of this article.