Dr. Loren Gresham (right), SNU president, and SNU graduating seniors Stephen Vandervort and Jean Marie Hill receiving the 2009 President's Award. (Photo by Kendra Thomson, SNU Media Strategies Team)
2009 USA/Canada Commencement Reports
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Global Ministry Center
Ambrose University College
President: George Durance (Riley Coulter - chancellor)
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Web: www.ambrose.edu
Date of graduation exercises: Saturday, April 25
Commencement Speaker: George Durance, in his final commencement as president
Number of graduates: 116
Fast Facts: This was the 68th Commencement for the joint institutions formerly known as Canada Nazarene University College and Alliance University College, but the first on the new Ambrose University College campus ... Over 1,100 people attended the ceremony ... Durance was elected president emeritus ... the Baccalaureate sermon was preached by Marvin Fritzler ... Full story.

Eastern Nazarene College
President: Corlis McGee
Location: Quincy, Massachusetts
Web: www.enc.edu
Date of graduation exercises: Saturday, May 16
Commencement Speaker: David McCullough, award winning author and Pulitzer Prize winning historian
Honorary Doctorate: David McCullough
Number of students participating in Commencement: 207
Fast Facts: This was ENC's 87th Spring Commencement ... Donald Yerxa, nationally renowned historian and longtime professor in the ENC History Department, was awarded professor emeritus status ... McCullough's appearance was arranged by former Quincy mayor and ENC alumnus James Sheets ... The senior class's gift to the school was a fully endowed, $10,000 scholarship - this is the first time an ENC graduating class has presented a scholarship that is fully endowed and thus able to be awarded immediately to incoming students ... Full story.

MidAmerica Nazarene University
President: Ed Robinson
Location: Olathe, Kansas
Web: www.mnu.edu
Dates of graduation exercises: May 2-3
Commencement Speakers: General Superintendent Paul G. Cunningham (traditional commencement), Ed Robinson (graduate and adult commencement)
Honorary Doctorate: Margaret Gilliland, vice president of Student Development
Number of graduates: 534 (232 traditional, 302 graduate and adult)
Fast Facts: This was the 38th Spring Commencement for MNU ... Commencement exercises were held at College Church of the Nazarene ... Gilliland, who will retire June 30, is the university's longest continuous full-time employee, having served since June 1969 in positions ranging from resident educator to Career Development director to dean of students ... Citation of Merit was awarded to Sherry L. Rakes, senior vice president of Nursing at Olathe Medical Center ... A Baccalaureate service was held at College Church on Saturday, May 2, with MNU Chaplain Randy Beckum delivering the address.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University
President: Daniel J. Martin
Location: Mount Vernon, Ohio
Web: www.mvnu.edu
Date of graduation exercises: Saturday, May 23
Commencement Speaker: Henry Spaulding, new vice president for Academic Affairs
Number of graduates: 399
Fast Facts: This was MVNU's 40th Spring Commencement ... The traditional undergraduate class represented 49 different majors, 13 states, and two other countries (Canada and South Korea) ... A Baccalaureate service was held May 22 in the R.R. Hodges Chapel/Auditorium ... Commencement services were also held in the R.R. Hodges Chapel/Auditorium ... Full story ... Commencement web page.

Nazarene Bible College
President: Harold B. Graves Jr.
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Web: www.nbc.edu
Date of graduation exercises: Sunday, May 24
Commencement Speaker: General Superintendent James H. Diehl
Number of graduates: 86
Fast Facts: This was the 40th Spring Commencement at NBC ... Of the 86 graduates, 83 earned a bachelor's degree, while three earned an associate's ... The Alumnus of the Year will be announced during General Assembly.

Nazarene Theological Seminary
President: Ron Benefiel
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Web: www.nts.edu
Date of graduation exercises: Sunday, May 10
Commencement Speaker: T. Scott Daniels, pastor of the Pasadena, California, First Church of the Nazarene
Number of graduates: 53
Fast Facts: This was the 63rd Spring Commencement for NTS ... The Class of 2009 consisted of 53 graduates receiving degrees as follows: 31 masters of divinity; five M.A. in Christian education; four M.A. in intercultural studies; 13 M.A. in theological studies. Five students earned an additional diploma or certificate along with their degree and five students earned certificates only ... This class represented five countries: Brazil, Canada, Germany, Korea, and the U.S. ... Commencement activities were held at Kansas City First Church, which was filled to capacity ... The Corlett Senior Sermon was given by Joshua T. Johnson ... A special graduate chapel was held on the morning of May 9 and an All Seminary Banquet was held that evening ... Full story.

Northwest Nazarene University
President: David Alexander
Location: Nampa, Idaho
Web: www.nnu.edu
Date of graduation exercises: Sunday, May 10
Commencement Speaker: Randy Craker, chair of NNU's Board of Trustees and superintendent of the Northwest District
Number of graduates: 426 (255 undergraduate, 171 graduate)
Fast Facts: This was NNU's 93rd Spring Commencement ... Graduate-level students received degrees in 20 areas of study and undergraduates received degrees in 45 disciplines ... Graduates represented 29 states from as far away as New York, and nine foreign countries that include Bulgaria, Kenya, Trinidad, Vanuatu, Brazil, Haiti, South Korea, Burma, and Kazakhstan ... This year NNU inducted the class of 1959 into the Golden Grads (50+ years) as 34 classmates returned to campus and participated in the commencement convocation ... A Baccalaureate service was held on the morning of May 10 at the Idaho Center and featured NNU President David Alexander as speaker ... Benjamin Fischer named 2009 Professor of the Year ... Full story ... Idaho Press-Tribune.

Olivet Nazarene University
President: John C. Bowling
Location: Bourbonnais, Illinois
Web: www.olivet.edu
Date of graduation exercises: Saturday, May 9
Commencement Speakers: Paul R. Corts, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and former U.S. Department of Justice assistant attorney general (undergraduate ceremony) and John C. Bowling, ONU president (School of Graduate and Continuing Studies ceremony)
Honorary doctorate degrees: David Caudle, pastor of the Indianapolis Westside Church of the Nazarene, and K. Clair MacMillan, Church of the Nazarene Canada national director (story)
Number of graduates: 1,395
Fast Facts: This was ONU's 96th annual commencement ... Of the nearly 1,400 diplomas awarded, 489 were traditional undergraduate, 245 continuing studies, 659 master's, and two honorary doctorate ... Dana Mulder (social work and children's ministry; Holt, Michigan) and Tony Calero (political science and sociology; White Bear Lake, Minnesota) were awarded the Maggie Sloan Crawford and Robert M. Milner awards, respectively ... During the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies afternoon commencement ceremony, J. Cliff Boggs received the Ralph E. Perry Student Award for Excellence ... Leon Blanchette, assistant professor of Christian education, received the Richard M. Jones Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence ... The Willis E. Snowbarger Award for Teaching Excellence was awarded to Lynda Aills, adjunct professor within Olivet's School of Graduate and Continuing Studies ... Full story.

Point Loma Nazarene University
President: Bob Brower
Location: San Diego, California
Web: www.pointloma.edu
Date of graduation exercises: Saturday, May 16
Commencement Speakers: Sue Crider Atkins, PLNU professor of journalism (undergraduate ceremonies) and Jill Hamilton-Bunch, PLNU associate professor of education (graduate ceremony)
Number of graduates: 836 (565 undergraduate, 271 graduate)
Fast Facts: All three ceremonies (two undergrad, one grad) were held in the historic Greek Amphitheatre on PLNU's campus ... This year marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of PLNU's Alpha Chapter of the Phi Delta Lambda alumni honor society ... Commencement web page, including photos.

Southern Nazarene University
President: Loren Gresham
Location: Bethany, Oklahoma
Web: www.snu.edu
Date of graduation exercises: Saturday, May 9
Commencement Speaker: Brad R. Moore, chairman of the SNU Board of Trustees and president of Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions
Honorary Doctorate Degrees: Stan Toler, pastor of the Oklahoma City Trinity Church of the Nazarene, Alejandro Sandoval, superintendent of the Southwest Latin American District, Brad R. Moore
Number of Graduates: 356
Fast Facts: This was SNU's 106th Spring Commencement ... Of the 356, there were 150 traditional, 124 bachelor, and 82 master graduates ... Ceremonies were held in the Sawyer Center ... The morning commencement was followed by the Tradition of the Ivy Ring with graduating seniors and their families ... The SNU 2009 Spring Nursing Ceremony was held Friday evening, May 8, in Herrick Auditorium ... The SNU Board of Trustees presented President Loren Gresham and Mrs. Gresham with a special award, marking the Greshams' 20th commencement as president of Southern Nazarene University ... Full story.

Trevecca Nazarene University
President: Dan Boone
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Web: www.trevecca.edu
Date of graduation exercises: Saturday, May 2
Commencement Speaker: Stella Simpson, professor of education
Honorary doctorate degree: Steve Harris, Trevecca's associate provost and dean of Student Development
Number of graduates: 872
Fast Facts: This was Trevecca's 108th Spring Commencement ... More than 6,000 attended the ceremony ... Charles A. Davis Jr., chair of Trevecca's Board of Trustees, offered congratulations to the graduates ... Harris has served as a Trevecca administrator for 30 years and is among the longest serving deans of students anywhere in higher education ... A Baccalaureate service was held Friday, May 1, in Trevecca's Boone Business Building Convocation Center with Trevecca President Dan Boone serving as speaker ... Full story ...  photos.

--Compiled by NCN News
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