The Newman University Spring 2014 Commencement ceremony was held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at Central Community Church, 6100 W. Maple.
The Commencement ceremony included 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.
The ceremony also included 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. Francisco “Pancho” Fields of Newton, Kan., was awarded the Harvey J. Ablah Award, and Alaina Garrett of Wichita received the Leona J. Ablah Award.
The ceremony also included the bestowal of a Doctor of Humane Letters, degree upon Kathy and Patrick O’Shaughnessy.honoris causa
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.
The O’Shaughnessys were 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.
See the complete list of graduates here.
See a video of the O’Shaughnessys receiving the honorary degree here.
See more photos from Spring 2014 Commencement here.
See a video of the full Spring 2014 Commencement here.