Lindenwood University held its commencement exercises May 16 and 17, awarding a record number of degrees, including the first doctoral degrees in the school’s history.
The undergraduate commencement on May 17 and the Baccalaureate/graduate commencement on May 16 were both held at the Family Arena in St. Charles. More than 800 students took part in the undergraduate ceremony while approximately 650 students took part in the graduate ceremony. Last year, just over 1,300 students took part in both ceremonies combined.
This year, more than 3,400 students were eligible to participate in the ceremony, which includes students who completed their degrees in August, September, and December of 2007 and March of 2008, as well as students who were on track to complete their degrees in May, June, August, and September of 2008. Lindenwood holds one set of commencement exercises a year.
This was also a groundbreaking year because the university awarded degrees to the first eight recipients of its new Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.); another 17 candidates who are awaiting approval of their dissertations participated in the ceremony.
“This commencement is historic for Lindenwood in a couple of ways,” said James D. Evans, Lindenwood president. “The number of graduates is testimony to our enrollment growth, and the conferring of Lindenwood’s first doctoral degrees is evidence of the growth of our programs.”
The keynote speaker at the graduate ceremony was St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann, and the speaker at the undergraduate ceremony was former U.S. Senator Alan Dixon. Student speakers at the commencement ceremony were undergraduate Megan Shipley, president of the Lindenwood Student Government Association, and graduate student Kelly Kothe, who was recipient of the university’s Bertha Floyd Lifelong Learning Award.
Receiving the university’s Alumni Merit Award (at the May 16 ceremony) was Martha Ackmann (class of 1973), award-winning author of “The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight.”