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Creighton Winter Commencement Honors Students, Leaders

More than 260 degrees will be conferred during Creighton University’s winter commencement ceremony at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, at the D.J. Sokol Arena in the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center on campus. University President Timothy R. Lannon, 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. Connie Ryan, president of Streck, Inc., and a member of the Creighton Board of Directors since 2003, will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree. The Cardiac Center of Creighton University will receive the University’s Presidential Medallion.

For more than 19 years, Ryan has contributed to Streck’s recognition as a worldwide leader in the cell stabilization process vital to accurate medical testing. Ryan has been an avid supporter of Creighton’s east campus expansion, raising funds for the athletic center named for her parents, Drs. Wayne and Eileen Ryan. As a champion for women, she has been a driving force behind women’s athletics, raising scholarship dollars and encouraging female student-athletes to become leaders. Ryan is involved in numerous Creighton Board committees and serves on the boards of Methodist Health System, the Omaha Community Foundation and NUtech Ventures in Lincoln, and is honorary chair of the 2011 Salvation Army Tree of Lights and co-chair of the Women’s Fund of Omaha Annual Fall Luncheon.

For 50 years, Creighton University’s Cardiac Center has played a vital role in serving the medical needs of the region. The Division of Cardiology was established at Creighton in 1961 by physicians Vincent Runco, Jr. and Richard W. Booth, who were among the first practicing cardiologists in Nebraska. Over the years, additional outstanding cardiologists including Michael H. Sketch, M. D., Syed M. Mohiuddin, M. D. and current chief Dennis J. Esterbrooks, M. D., joined the staff, establishing Creighton’s as a flagship program, especially during the formative years of invasive and interventional cardiology.

Today, the Creighton Cardiac Center is a free-standing facility dedicated to cardiovascular care and research and one of Creighton’s premier educational programs. It offers a broad spectrum of services including prevention, detection and treatment of heart disease. The Cardiology Fellowship Training Program has served more than 150 cardiologists. The Center includes 19 cardiologists, 14 fellows and more than 200 staff members who facilitate 90,000 patient visits annually.