Willadene Zedan, left, an 85 year old graduate of Marian University, was escorted by her son in-law, Marian Professor Tom Richardson, as she received her bachelor's degree during Marian's commencement ceremony held on Saturday, May 18.
Reginald Parson of Chicago, IL was the 2013 student speaker.
FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Marian University held its 73rd spring commencement exercises on Saturday, May 18.
At the commencement ceremony held outside on the campus quad on Saturday, keynote speaker Dr. Bruce Prall, professor of chemistry who will be retiring after the spring semester, reflected on the history of Marian during his 42 years of service to teaching.
"Marian was founded in 1936 by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, and began as a school for women with nursing and education being the majors of most of the students," said Dr. Prall. "My arrival at Marian in the fall of 1971 coincided with the hiring of the first lay president. There were only three lay faculty at the time, and the college was just in the process of becoming a co-educational institution. When I sat in my office in front of my Underwood portable typewriter, I could look to the south and saw nothing but open fields, as the campus was then on the edge of town. Much has changed here on campus…but what has prevailed over the years though all these changes, however, is a dedicated faculty and staff, CSA support and a legacy of quality education and commitment to living our Core Values."
Dr. Prall encouraged graduates to continue Marian's legacy, and challenged them to continue to learn and experience the world.
"As you leave Marian, take these Core Values of Learning, Community, Service, Social Justice and Spiritual Traditions with you," said Dr. Prall. "Continue to be a life-long learner. In addition to the Core Values and your diploma, you will be taking with you today some life-long friends and the responsibility of holding up Marian's reputation as a quality institution. Realize that there is a big world out there and experience it for yourself, and continue persevering and staying focused on your goals."
In addition, student speaker Reginald Parson, a homeland security major, spoke to his fellow graduates about the journey of earning a college education and encouraged graduates to reflect on their transformation.
"The journey of finishing college, whether it's a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, is not easy. It requires much patience and strength from within to attain our goals," said Parson. "Marian has given us unique opportunities to build our character, face challenges with integrity and be fearless as we transform our lives and the lives of others. Today we are one step closer to our dreams."
The ceremony featured the graduation of 266 undergraduate and 56 graduate recipients. Six students received Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Administration degrees.
The weekend's activities also included a graduation liturgy, a School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony and a School of Education Commissioning Ceremony.