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Creighton Graduates Largest Class in School's History

Creighton Graduates Largest Class in University's History

The largest number of graduates in Creighton University’s history walked across the stage at the Omaha Civic Auditorium Saturday May 12. Almost 1,300 degrees were awarded during two commencement ceremonies beginning at 9:30 a.m., with the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, School of Law, and the Graduate School.

The ceremony for the schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy and Health Professions was held in the afternoon. University President the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J., presided at both ceremonies.

An honorary Doctor of Humane Letters was conferred on comedian Bob Newhart, who told the graduates “keep your sense of humor, you’ll need it” during his commencement address.

In addition to awarding degrees, the University recognized the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to education, community, business and health. St. Cecilia Cathedral and Holy Name Housing Corporation each received a Presidential Medallion. Fletcher A, Miller, Jr., M.D., a 1971 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, received the Alumni Achievement Citation. Finance Professor John Wingender received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for teaching excellence and two graduates, Brandon Hankey of the College of Arts and Sciences and Mary Therese Rogers of the School of Medicine received the “Spirit of Creighton Award.”

For more than 100 years, St. Cecilia Cathedral has served as an archdiocesan gathering place where parishioners from all backgrounds and walks of life can gather as a vibrant community of faith, service and spirit. The Most Rev. Elden F. Curtiss, archbishop of the Omaha Archdiocese, and the Rev. Michael F. Gutgsell, rector and pastor of St. Cecilia Cathedral Parish, accepted the award.

The Holy Name Housing Corporation has made the dream of home ownership a reality for more than 25 years in north Omaha. The group has purchased rundown and vacant houses since 1982, revitalized depressed neighborhoods, built new homes, making them available to low- and moderate-income families. Accepting the award was Executive Director Sister Marilyn Ross, R.S.M.

Creighton presented its highest alumni award, the Alumni Achievement Citation, to internationally known cardiologist Fletcher A. Miller, M.D. Fletcher was the lead cardiologist caring for former President Gerald Ford before he died earlier this year. He practices and teaches at the Mayo Clinic, where he is a professor of medicine and director of the echocardiography laboratory at the Mayo Clinic . Fletcher's son, David, received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Business.

Receiving the Alumni Award for the Graduate School during the afternoon ceremonies was Lu Amy Sun, M.D., Ph.D., a 1990 graduate. Sun is medical director of Experimental Medicine at Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Inc.An ardent supporter of her specialized vocation, she participates in many organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

John Wingender, Ph. D., professor of finance in the College of Business, was presented with the Creighton Students Union Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement. Wingender developed a Portfolio Practicum class in which students invest a portion of Creighton’s endowment to better prepare them for the real-world investing experience. He is also the faculty advisor of the Financial Management Association student chapter which has been a nationally ranked “Outstanding Chapter” for three consecutive years.

posted 05/12/07

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.