Spring Commencement 2015


Student Media Staff, Staff Reporter

The journey at Washburn came to a close Saturday, May 16 for hundreds of Ichabods.

Three commencement ceremonies were held in Lee arena for undergraduate students. Graduation for the School of Applied Studies took place at 9:30 a.m., graduation for the College of Arts and Sciences was at 12:30 p.m., and the School of Business and School of Nursing had their ceremony at 3:30 p.m.

After a procession of flags and the National Anthem, each of the first three ceremonies opened with an introduction from either outgoing Washburn Student Government Association vice president Randi McAfee, outgoing WSGA president Cassandra White or current WSGA president Blake Porter.

Each speaker from WSGA introduced the platform party of faculty and gave opening remarks. McAfee was graduating from the School of Applied Studies and White was graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences.

President Jerry Farley then took the podium and addressed the congregations, sharing with each of them things to keep in mind as they leave Washburn.

“Welcome to this celebration,” Farley opened. “It’s very special. It’s very special because it’s yours.”

Farley spoke to the graduates, telling them that now people will expect more of them, and they will have more responsibility. As a graduate, he said, each of them would have an obligation to be a productive member of society.

“Change” was another key point Farley hit on. He told students that there always has been change, and things will continue to change, but there are some things that won’t change, specifically naming Washburn’s commitment to providing a quality education. He impressed upon the graduates that their higher education will help them adapt to changes in life.

But Farley concluded his speech the way he began it – on a celebratory note.

“Tonight we celebrate your success,” Farley said.

Following Farley’s remarks were the announcements of the Sibberson Award winners.

At each graduation, the highest-ranking member of the graduating class is awarded the Sibberson Award, a “substantial monetary award established by the trusts of Erna Sibberson and Gretchen O. A. Sibberson.”

Elijah Kennedy, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, won the award at the School of Applied Studies ceremony. Ashley Murrell, who graduated with a degree in elementary education, took home the award for the College of Arts and Sciences. Bachelor of science in nursing graduate Kellie DeMill was the winner out of the school of nursing, and Katie Krug, who graduated with a bachelor of business administration, was the Sibberson winner for the school of business.

After the Sibberson Awards were bestowed, the degrees of all the students were conferred by Farley and each school’s respective dean.

The ceremonies closed with a singing of the alma mater by the Washburn Singers and a final word from Farley.

“I hope you never forget your time at Washburn, and I hope you’ll come back and visit us,” Farley told the graduates.

Commencement for the Washburn School of Law also took place Saturday. The ceremony started at 6:30 p.m. in Lee Arena.

Those who spoke at the law students’ graduation included Sabrina Standifer, president of the School of Law Alumni Association, dean of the law school Thomas Romig, and Tabitha Chapman, president of the 2015 Washburn Student Bar Association.