USM Bids Farewell to Class of 2017 & Awards Teaching Excellence

5/15/2017 12:00:00 AM
(Leavenworth, Kan.)—The University of Saint Mary marked the close of another academic year and the completion of this leg of the class of 2017’s educational journey at USM’s Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 13, in McGilley Field House on the university’s main Leavenworth campus, 4100 South 4th Street.
The 2017 Commencement ceremony honored the university’s 416 graduates—a group composed of 215 undergraduate degree recipients, 161 master’s degree recipients, and 40 doctoral degree recipients. This year’s graduates hailed from coast to coast and across the globe. They came from a wide variety of backgrounds and are headed toward an equally wide range of bright futures. In reaching their God-given potential, USM’s graduates overcame obstacles of all kinds.

During the ceremony, reflections were provided by student speakers William Affognon, a History major from Irving, Texas, as well as Student Government Association President and recipient of the university’s Students Appreciating Students award; Heather Bloomcamp, of Olathe, Kan., who is earning her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology; and Daniel Collins, of Andover, Kan., who is receiving his Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Also honored at Commencement, this year’s Sullivan Award for Teaching Excellence and University Leadership and Service—Jacqlynn Asherman. Established in 1990 and named after Sister Mary Louise Sullivan, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth who served Saint Mary for 45 years as professor and dean, the award is given to a full-time faculty member nominated by students, faculty, and staff as a person who “has made a distinct difference in the teaching climate at the University of Saint Mary.”
Asherman exemplifies all that the Sullivan Award stands for—more specifically, the Sullivan Award Committee cited her excellence in the classroom, her outstanding commitment to the USM community and the nursing profession, and her exemplary dedication and service to those in need.
In nominating this year’s award winner, a student said: “By creating an exciting and confidence boosting learning environment, [she] has helped us succeed in a very demanding and stressful program.” Another student described Asherman in this way: “I feel that being able to experience her drive inspires me to do the same in my career ... she is both a mentor and a model.”
As is tradition at Saint Mary, the Commencement ceremony was preceded by a traditional Baccalaureate Mass in Annunciation Chapel.

The University of Saint Mary is a Catholic co-educational applied liberal arts university founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. The University of Saint Mary main campus is located at 4100 South 4th Street, Leavenworth, Kan. USM’s Overland Park Campus at 4500 College Boulevard offers evening accelerated graduate and undergraduate degree-completion programs. The university also offers online programs. Visit for more information.