Students, honorary degree recipients to be recognized at NU spring and summer 2012 graduation ceremonies

May 09, 2012

Newman University will hold the Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement ceremony for spring and summer 2012 graduates on May 11 and May 12, respectively. The university will also honor graduating Nursing students on May 11, as well as Occupational Therapy Assistant students on May 12 who have completed coursework and will begin internships.

Baccalaureate Mass and Reception
A Baccalaureate Mass will be at 7 p.m. Friday, May 11, in the 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. A reception will follow in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center on the Newman campus.

The 2012 Commencement for spring and summer graduates will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 12 at Central Community Church, 6100 W. Maple. This year, 362 candidates for associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees will take part in Commencement exercises. The ceremony will include an address by Newman Associate Professor of Nursing Amy Siple. Siple received the 2011 Newman University Teaching Excellence Award, an annual recognition awarded to a full-time faculty member who has demonstrated an innovative or dynamic approach to courses, course revisions, and teaching techniques. The award recipient has the honor of speaking at the following fall and spring Commencement ceremonies.

Honorary Degrees
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 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 Spring 2012 ceremony, the Most Rev. Michael O. Jackels will be honored for the Core Value of Catholic Identity. Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Jackels the 10th Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita on Jan. 28, 2005. Bishop Jackels is greatly admired and respected by people throughout the region for his dedication to the tenets of the Catholic faith, his leadership abilities, his vision, his intellect, as well as his personal warmth and sense of humor. Bishop Jackels has long been a proponent of Catholic education and has been a staunch supporter of Newman since his arrival in the Diocese.


Alice and Dale Wiggins will receive an honorary degree for their demonstration and commitment to the Newman University Core Value of Culture of Service. The Wiggins played a significant role in the development of the Guadalupe Clinic, now a ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita that offers free or low-cost medical services to low-income residents of Wichita. They remain active with the clinic and the Annual Midwest Winefest, which has raised more than $2.5 million in support of the clinic. The Wiggins have been longstanding supporters of Newman University. Dale served as a member of the Newman Board of Trustees from 1985 to 1988. The Wiggins have also supported many other educational and civic organizations, including Wichita State University, The Boys and Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas, Rainbows United, Wichita Habitat for Humanity and Holy Savior Catholic Academy.

Senior Class of 2012 Nursing Pinning Ceremony
The Newman University School of Nursing and Allied Health will honor candidates for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at the annual Nurses’ Pinning ceremony, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 11 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 recipient.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Pinning
Newman’s Occupational Therapy Assistant students will be recognized with a pinning ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 12 in Performance Hall of the De Mattias Fine Arts Center, with a reception following in the Gorges Atrium. This 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 2012 graduation.