FOND DU LAC, Wis.
– Marian University held its 76
spring commencement exercises on Saturday, May 14.
At the commencement ceremony held in the Marian University Quad, keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient Candice Millard, author and former writer/editor for National Geographic Magazine, congratulated graduates on their achievements, and challenged them to embrace life and the journey ahead.
“It’s an honor to be here not just because this is a special day, but because Marian University is a special place. It is a place of learning, but also a place where you have been encouraged to think for yourselves, to think about your lives outside of the classroom, as well as inside of it. To think about big things – about art, philosophy, faith ideas. To think about what is right in front of you, as well as what lies just beyond your reach – beyond this campus, this country, and just keep going, out into the wide, wide, world,” said Millard. “So now that you have the world in your pocket, what will you do with it? The answer to those questions will be different for each of you. I can tell you this: Life is more beautiful than you can possibly imagine…The key to this wide, wonderful world that lies at your feet is to remember that, whatever your start in life, whatever your circumstances, and whatever you choose to do, you can do it. It’s just going to take a lot of work, and that’s both the challenge and joy of living.”
In addition, student speaker Benjamin Morgan, a triple major in sport and recreation management, finance and marketing, spoke to his fellow graduates about the value of a Marian University education and challenged graduates to pursue one’s passion.
“During our time here, we have accomplished many great things…. I know we are all at different stages in life, with differing levels of responsibility, but to the extent we are able, we should chase our dreams,” said Morgan. “I want you to remember life is not just about what we do, life is about relationships. Some of my greatest learning experiences during my time at Marian were in sitting in my professor’s offices just talking about life. I really believe that the true meaning of life is not in our job title, but it is in who we love and in who loves us back. We should never allow ourselves to be defined by our career, because ultimately what we do is meaningless on the eternity scale. Our legacy is left by the hearts and lives we touch. Whatever we do next, we should pursue it with all our passion. I encourage everyone to fight for yourself, be foolish, and be courageous. Do not allow fear to rule and do not allow yourself to experience slow death. Never be afraid of personal change because it is through deep personal change that we become better versions of ourselves. Most importantly remember that there is greatness within each of us.”
During the ceremony, Dr. John May, former biology professor at Marian, and William Albrecht, former business professor at Marian, were awarded the rank of professor emeritus for their service to the University.
In addition, Kevin Wilson, former EMT and co-founder of the Pillar & Vine foster care agency in Brandon, Wis., was awarded the Magnificat Award. The Magnificat Award is given to persons who have contributed outstanding service to their community, their profession, or their career in a manner reflective of the ideals of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
The ceremony featured the graduation of 267 undergraduate and 58 graduate recipients. Three students received Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
The weekend’s activities also included a graduation liturgy, a Nursing Pinning Ceremony and a School of Education Commissioning Ceremony.
Marian University was founded in 1936 by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes in Fond du Lac, Wis. The institution has one of the lowest student-faculty ratios in the state, and strives to live its core values as a community committed to learning, dedicated to service and social justice and joined together by spiritual traditions. Marian offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs at its main campus and in facilities throughout Wisconsin.