Concordia St. Paul News

April 25, 2012

Concordia University Hosts Commencement Ceremonies, May 10-12

Concordia University, St. Paul will host baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2012, May 10-12, on the Concordia campus.

View a live web stream of each ceremony here.

Ceremony Schedule
Thursday, May 10, 7:30 p.m. (Graebner Memorial Chapel)
Baccalaureate – Commencement Worship Service

Friday, May 11, 7:30 p.m. (Gangelhoff Center)
Undergraduate Programs College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Organizational Leadership, College of Education, and the College of Vocation and Ministry

Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m. (Gangelhoff Center)
Undergraduate Cohort Programs – College of Business and Organizational Leadership, College of Education

Saturday, May 12, 2 p.m. (Gangelhoff Center)
Graduate Programs

Speakers and honorees will participate in the ceremonies as follows:

Undergraduate Programs Commencement

Commencement Speaker: Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast, Jr. is currently president of Concordia Theological Seminary and professor of American Christianity and American Lutheranism.

Student Welcome Address: Andrew Longabaugh of Wichita, Kan., is a Theatre major who has been active in numerous plays and musicals at Concordia.

Student Farewell Address: Sarah Koscielniak of Grand Haven, Mich., is graduating summa cum laude with an individually designed Urban Community Outreach degree. She has worked with the Somali population the past four years with the Urban Cross Cultural College Consortium program.  

Honorary Doctorate Recipient: Alicia JoAnn Winget, who previously served nine years on the board at Concordia University, St. Paul, is receiving a Doctor of Humane Letters for her dedication to Concordia and the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod (LCMS). Minneapolis photographer Wing Young Huie is receiving a Doctor of Humane Letters for his dedication to creating stronger communities in the Twin Cities buy using his camera to build cultural understanding.

Aeterna Moliri Awards: Rev. Dr. Jerald C. Joersz exemplifies the ideals of the Aeterna Moliri Award, which recognizes “builders for eternity,” individuals who further the work of the church and its people through their vocation or service. Joersz has served the church in many capacities since graduating from the seminary in 1968.

Undergraduate Cohort Programs Commencement

Commencement Speaker: Tommy Watson is one of the nation’s leading voices in the areas of resilience and setting high expectations. A former principal of Palmer Lake Elementary in Brooklyn Park, Minn., he speaks to thousands of educators, community and business leaders, and policy makers each year.

Student Welcome: Eric Ness of North Branch, Minn., is graduating with High Distinction with a bachelor of arts in Information Technology Management. He is currently the Assistant Vice President for Peoples National Bank of Mora, Minn.

Student Farewell: Jilleen Cade is graduating with a degree in Family Life Education, earning Summa Cum Laude honors. A volunteer with 360 Communities, she has a passion for helping children and parents succeed together.

Honorary Doctorate Recipient: Gary Thies will receive an honorary doctorate for his 40 years of mission service for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He currently directs Mission Central, the largest mission-supporting agency of the LCMS.

Aeterna Moliri Awards: Dr. Karl A. and Mrs. Shirley J. Kreft are being honored with the Aeterna Moliri Award for their more than 50 years of church service, particularly in the area of higher education.

Graduate Programs Commencement

Commencement Speaker: Mark Emkes of Brentwood, Tenn., is the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration. The former chairman and CEO of Bridgestone Americas Holdings, Inc., Emkes continues to give his time and expertise in fields outside of business.

Student Welcome: Michael Svec of Minneapolis is a 2012 MBA degree recipient and long-time employee at The Nielson Company. He was recently appointed to the Nielson Cares committee, a multi-national effort to bring more attention to the company’s social responsibility efforts.

Student Farewell: Sue Her Xiong is graduating with a Master’s degree in Christian Outreach. Married with four children, she lived in a Thailand refugee camp for ten years before moving to Eau Clair, Wisc., in 1992.