USM Celebrates Successful Class of 2013 at Commencement

5/10/2013 12:00:00 AM

1 p.m. Saturday, May 11, McGilley Field House

(Leavenworth, Kan.)—The University of Saint Mary celebrates the close of another academic year and the successful journeys of the class of 2013 at USM’s Commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 11, in McGilley Field House on the university’s main Leavenworth campus, 4100 South 4th Street.

The 2013 commencement event will recognize the university’s 286 graduates—a group composed of 197 undergraduate degree recipients and 89 graduate degree recipients. This year’s graduates hail from Kansas to the United Kingdom, from multiple countries and every geographic region of the United States.
As is tradition at Saint Mary, the 2013 Commencement ceremony will be preceded by a traditional Baccalaureate Mass in Annunciation Chapel. Following brunch, graduates will process across campus to McGilley Field House, led by the Pipes of the Kansas City, Kan., Police Honor Guard.
The ceremony itself will feature performances by the USM Community Band and the Saint Mary Concert Chorale. Reflections will be provided by student speakers Kristina Wuthrich-Hoffman, biology major and USM Student Government Association president from Chubbuck, Idaho; Laura Peacock-Whiteside, of Overland Park, Kan., who’s completing her degree in elementary education at USM’s Overland Park Campus and was named a 2013 Kansas Teacher of Promise; and Patricia Ingraham, of Lenexa, Kan., who is earning her Master’s of Arts in Education.
The members of the Saint Mary graduating class of 2013 have come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are headed toward an equally diverse range of bright futures. In reaching their God-given potential, USM’s graduates have overcome obstacles of all kinds.
Students who personify this graduating class include: 

  • Tawana Evans, a biology and mathematics major from Kansas City, Kan., and the first in her family to attend college. Tawana will attend KU School of Medicine following her graduation at USM. Tawana attended USM as a recipient of the Jubilee Scholarship—a full tuition scholarship, and the top award offered by the university. She also graduates with departmental honors in mathematics and All-University honors, recognizing her outstanding academic performance. 

  • Kristina Wuthrich-Hoffman, a biology major from Chubbuck, Idaho, who plans to attend Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) to earn a Master’s degree in bioethics before attending medical school to practice rural medicine.  Kristina earned departmental honors in biology and was also a varsity softball player for USM. 

  • Alma Habib, a nursing major from Leavenworth, Kan., who started a non-profit organization to raise money for Syrian refugees. Alma is graduating with departmental honors in nursing.

The accomplishments of several USM faculty members will also be acknowledged at this year’s commencement ceremony.

  • Dr. Cassy Cozine, assistant professor of biology at USM, won the Sullivan Award for Teaching Excellence. The award, plus $1,000, is presented to a full-time faculty member who has made a distinct difference in the teaching climate at USM. The Sullivan Award was created in 1990 and named for the late Sister Mary Louis Sullivan, former academic dean. The winner is nominated by students, faculty, and staff. 

  • Sr. Mary Pat Lenahan, a professor of both undergraduate and graduate education programs, has been named professor emerita recognizing her 23 years of service to the Saint Mary community.