USM Celebrates Successful Class of 2014 at Commencement

5/5/2014 12:00:00 AM

1 p.m. Saturday, May 10 | McGilley Field House

(Leavenworth, Kan.)—The University of Saint Mary celebrates the close of another academic year and marks a major milestone in the lives of the class of 2014 at USM’s Commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 10, in McGilley Field House on the university’s main Leavenworth campus, 4100 South 4th Street.

The 2014 commencement event will honor the university’s 372 graduates—a group composed of 224 undergraduate degree recipients and 148 graduate degree recipients. This year’s graduates hail from Kansas to Cameroon, from multiple countries and every geographic region of the United States.

As is tradition at Saint Mary, the 2014 Commencement ceremony will be preceded by a Baccalaureate Mass in Annunciation Chapel. Following brunch, graduates will process across campus to McGilley Field House, led by a bagpiper.

The ceremony itself will feature performances by the USM Community Band and the Saint Mary Concert Chorale. Reflections will be provided by student speakers Bridget O’Neil, a biology and chemistry major and USM Student Government Association president from Leavenworth, Kan.; Lisa Ogden, of Lenexa, Kan., who’s completing her undergraduate degree in child development education at USM’s Overland Park Campus; and Benjamin Howard, of Shawnee, Kan., who is earning his Master of Arts in Education.

The members of the Saint Mary graduating class of 2014 arrived at USM from a wide variety of backgrounds and are bound for 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:

  • Bridget O’Neil, a biology and chemistry major from Leavenworth, Kan., who was accepted into multiple graduate veterinary medicine programs, and will be furthering her education this fall at Kansas State. Bridget graduates with departmental honors in biology and chemistry, All-University Honors, and was the recipient of USM’s Students Appreciating Students award as well as the Chase Student Award in Biology.

  • USM’s four recipients of the Kansas Teacher of Promise Award: Grace Behrens, of Leavenworth, Kan., Brenda Brookhart, of Shawnee, Kan., Katie Dinkel, of Hays, Kan., and Scott Hedberg, of Lansing, Kan. All four have already earned jobs at the following schools, respectively: Immaculata High School in Leavenworth, Glenwood Ridge Elementary in Bonner Springs, St. Matthew’s Catholic School in Topeka, and Henry Leavenworth Elementary.

  • Sarah Cronkleton-Kidd, a theatre major from Gladstone, Mo., and USM Theatre stalwart, who plans to attend the graduate theatre education program at Emerson College in Boston.

USM will also honor a member of its faculty at the 2014 Commencement Ceremony. Dr. Caroline Mackintosh, associate professor and director of USM’s biology program, won the Sullivan Award for Teaching Excellence. The award 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 Louise Sullivan, former academic dean. The winner is nominated by students, faculty, and staff.

Learn more about USM Commencement at