April 29, 2013
On Saturday, May 4, the University of Mary, America's Leadership University, will recognize 869 graduates with a total of 872 degrees, at its 2013 commencement. The ceremony will begin at 1:30 PM, in the Bismarck Civic Center, and will be streamed LIVE on the Web at UStream (go to http://www.ustream.tv/new then search University of Mary to view) or visit www.umary.edu/graduation.
Carrying forward the vision of its founders and sponsors, the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, to prepare leaders in the service of truth, the university will celebrate the achievements of graduates at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels, in 430 undergraduate and 406 post-graduate. It also will confer doctoral degrees honoring 36 outstanding servant leaders.
During the ceremony, the University of Mary will award a total of 430 undergraduate and 406 master's degrees.
This year, for the first time, master of science in Respiratory Therapy will be among the degrees granted. The university also will celebrate its eighth doctoral class, conferring the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree on 36 graduates. Attesting to the university's emphasis on academic excellence, 95 undergraduate degrees will be awarded cum laude; 53 magna cum laude; and 30 summa cum laude. Thirty six graduates, representing the University of Mary's School of Arts and Sciences, Gary Tharaldson School of Business, School of Education and Behavioral Sciences, and School of Health Sciences, have earned the Certified Schafer Leader designation from the Harold Schafer Emerging Leaders Academy and is indicated by an asterisk (*) next to his or her name on the attached graduation list.
This year's graduating class includes outstanding men and women from 34 states and seven foreign countries.
One hundred two baccalaureate degrees and 337 master's degrees will be awarded to graduates who completed their program through distance education, including online.
"It is with pride and gratitude that we salute the University of Mary's 53rd class of graduates," said Monsignor James Shea, president. "Their commitment to becoming leaders in the service of truth has prepared them to go forward as outstanding professionals and individuals who will help shape and contribute to their communities just as they have helped strengthen and advance the mission of the university. We are confident that the wisdom, values and spiritual grounding they have gained from their experience at Mary will provide them with the foundation to continue to grow as leaders, wherever their lives of service take them."
The University of Mary ceremonial mace, a symbol of leadership, which debuted at Commencement 2009, again will be carried by senior faculty member Father Victor Feser, OSB. It is a tangible expression of the Benedictine values of the university's founders, the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation, which reflects the bridging of centuries of tradition and learning with the university's responsibility to the future.
Kevin Cramer to be Awarded Honorary Doctorate, Deliver Commencement Address
Another highlight of Commencement 2013 will be the conferring of honorary degree on one outstanding servant leader. Cramer will be awarded Doctor of Leadership, honoris causa. An honorary doctorate is the highest honor bestowed by the University of Mary beyond the granting of earned degrees. Only 31 individuals previously have been recognized with this distinction. Cramer will deliver the commencement address entitled: "What is Leadership in the Service of Truth?"
U-Mary Recognizes Outstanding Senior Nominees
In graduation-related events, the University of Mary Alumni Association will recognize this year's nominees for the Outstanding Senior Award at the annual President's Breakfast for nominees and invited guests, hosted by Monsignor Shea, Saturday, May 4, at 9 AM, in the University Hall dining room.
Nominees for the 2013 Outstanding Senior Award are: Melissa Agnew, Onamia, MN; Cassandra Becker, Bismarck, ND; DeShon Benton, Modesto, CA; Rachel Brown, Minot, ND; Alexa Edman, Pierre, SD; Collin Engelhardt, Bismarck, ND; Josie Harding, Cheyenne, WY; Grant Hillestad, Breckenridge, MN; Jon Marsh, Dickinson, ND; Brenton Peltz, Glen Ullin, ND; Kristin Ripplinger, McClusky, ND; Chelse Simon, Grand Forks, ND; Hunter Stemmer, Plymouth, MN; Nicholas Trout, Motley, MN; and Deland Weyrauch, Ray, ND.
A Baccalaureate Mass, presided by Father Benedict Fischer, OSB, will be held in the Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel, in the Benedictine Center for Servant Leadership, on Friday, May 3, 2013, at 3:30 PM. All graduating students, family, guests, community and faculty are welcome. The public and media are invited to attend the liturgy and the commencement ceremony.
Media interested in attending commencement events should contact Tom Ackerman at (701) 355-8002 or firstname.lastname@example.org, by Thursday, May 2, for best accommodations.
America's Leadership University is ‘On the Grow'
The University of Mary remains one of the region's fastest-growing institutions of higher learning, with ongoing expansion of its areas of study, degree programs and delivery options. The number of graduates has grown from six in 1960 to 645 in 2000, first passing the 700 mark in 2001. The Class of 2013 comprises 869 graduates.
The university offers undergraduate majors and various pre-professional concentrations and a dual-degree, pre-engineering program. It also offers master's degrees in business administration, counseling, education, human performance,nursing, occupational therapy, project management, respiratory therapy and strategic leadership, as well as a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Certificate programs in human resource management and college and adult teaching also are available, as well as programs qualifying students to sit for the Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Fraud Examiner exams.
The University of Mary continues to take leadership and its commitment to serving the people in the region and beyond to a new level. Recent initiatives include:
• A new collaborative agreement with Arizona State University (ASU) that began in fall 2012, which provides an opportunity for ASU students to major, minor or take individual courses in theological studies or Catholic studies from U-Mary on the ASU campus as a complement to their ASU degree, and earn a U-Mary degree or credential, if desired.
• The addition of a Catholic studies major to the Catholic Studies Program, that began in fall 2012.
Programs are offered in Bismarck at the main (residential) and downtown campus, at the Rome, Italy campus and at 14 sites in six states and online, through the University of Mary Worldwide. To learn more about the growing number of opportunities at U-Mary, visit www.umary.edu.
2013 Commencement Speaker
Honorary Degree Recipient and Commencement Speaker
Doctor of Leadership, honoris causa
Kevin Cramer is a selfless leader whose service is centered on the conviction that "God is good" and that one's talents should be shared to encourage unity and human respect in family, church, school, public service, and civic affairs.
A native of Kindred, ND, Cramer earned a bachelor of arts in social work from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, and a master's degree in management from the University of Mary.
Cramer began his public service career in the late 1980s and early 1990s when he was the director and chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party. In 1992 he was appointed to serve as the state's tourism director and later economic development director. In 2001 he served in the private sector when he became the first director of the Harold Schafer Leadership Foundation at the University of Mary, connecting emerging leaders from the university with community business leaders.
In 2003, Cramer was appointed to the North Dakota Public Service Commission. The next year he was elected to a full six-year term and was re-elected in 2010. As Public Service Commissioner, Cramer helped to develop and oversee the most dynamic economy in our nation. Always with an eye to the common good, he worked to ensure that North Dakotans benefitted from the newfound prosperity while enhancing their competitive position in the global marketplace.
With the 2012 election, the people of North Dakota sent this native son to serve in Washington, D.C., in the U.S. House of Representatives. There he serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Science, Space and Technology Committee and as vice-chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. In addition, Cramer was appointed to sub-committees for Energy and Mineral Resources, Public Lands and Environmental Regulation, and Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.
Whether his service is to all the people of North Dakota or the youngsters he is refereeing on the soccer field, serving as chairman of the Roughrider Honor Flight or North Dakota Teen Challenge, or serving the University of Mary as a trustee, Cramer's perspective is "that my public service is an extension of my service to Christ. Every day, I strive to be more like Him and fail, and am grateful for His grace."
Kevin and his wife, Kris (Neumann), have two adult sons, Ian and Isaac, two adult daughters, Rachel and Annie, a six-year-old son, Abel, and a granddaughter, Lyla.