Creighton Winter Commencement Honors Graduates, People, Organizations
More than 215 degrees will be conferred during Creighton University’s winter commencement ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19, at the D.J. Sokol Arena in the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center on campus. University President the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J., will preside at the ceremony, which is preceded by a baccalaureate Mass at 9:30 a.m. in St. John’s Church.
Special awards of recognition will go to people and organizations making a positive difference in the Omaha community and around the country. Eileen and Wayne Ryan, Ph.D., BS’49, MS’51, will receive honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. The St. Augustine Indian Mission and Mutual of Omaha will both receive the University’s Presidential Medallion.
Wayne and Eileen Ryan believe strongly in the Jesuit, Catholic value of educating the whole person –mind, body and soul –and have made numerous commitments to support Creighton’s academic and athletic programs. This year the University dedicated the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center and D.J. Sokol Arena, a facility that not only supports women’s athletics, but health and wellness programs for the campus community and Omaha as well. The long-time supporters also recently established the Fr. Henry W. Casper, S.J., Professorship in History to honor one of Dr. Ryan’s favorite Jesuit professors at Creighton. In 2007, Wayne and Eileen received The Ignatian Spirit Award from the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus, which honors a couple who exhibit the ideals associated with St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.
For 100 years, the St. Augustine Indian Mission has served the Native American people of the Winnebago and Omaha tribes. Focusing on preparing students for higher education, the only Native American mission school in the state of Nebraska inspires its students to be respectful of life, self-directed and contributors to the greater community. Accepting the award is the Rev. Dave Korth, director.
Mutual of Omaha has provided insurance, financial products and services to Omaha for 100 years, all the while investing and involving itself in the community. From philanthropic work through the Mutual of Omaha Foundation; to partnerships with such groups as USA Swimming, bringing national prominence to the city; to development of Midtown Crossing; Mutual’s history and ongoing community efforts have become the model for other companies. Chairman and CEO Dan Neary will be accepting the award.
At this commencement, Joyce Sasse, Omaha, Neb., will become Creighton’s first Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The University is the first nursing school in Nebraska to offer the DNP program with 49 students currently enrolled.