19Methodist University’s 61st annual Commencement on May 11 included an entire day of celebration as graduates received degrees and are now prepared for the next chapter of their lives.
The University hosted “Commencement Weekend,” which included two commemorative events at the Crown Coliseum for the Class of 2024. First was Commencement 2024 for students receiving their bachelor’s degrees, and then a graduate commencement ceremony at the same location later that evening.
Methodist University President Stanley T. Wearden congratulated the nearly 400 graduate and undergraduate students who officially completed academic degrees from more than 80 areas of study that are offered on campus and online at MU.
“Congratulations, graduates. I am so very proud of your accomplishments,” said Wearden. “Now, you will embark on new adventures in your lives, equipped with a Methodist University education and supported not only by your families, faculty, and staff, but by your friends – fellow students you have met along the way who will join you as fellow alumni. Stay in touch with this network. Share your successes and challenges. Care for them and allow them to care for you.”
On Saturday afternoon, thousands of loved ones filled the Crown Coliseum for Commencement 2024. General Dan K. McNeill served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. McNeill served with the Special Forces, airborne infantry (including the 82nd Airborne Division), mechanized infantry, and aviation units for more than 40 years before retiring in 2008.
Before receiving an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Methodist University for his contributions to society, McNeill addressed the graduates with a call for action in their post-graduation careers.
“Congratulations to all of you,” said McNeill. “As you move forward, you have the privilege to serve, and you must serve. Learn how to follow before you lead and when you’re ready, seek positions of leadership. Remember, leadership and trust are closely related terms. You now have the requisite skills to stride forth with confidence in the world.”
“This is a significant achievement, and it will change your lives in many ways both tangible and intangible,” Wearden said.
“You are now joining an elite group – the alumni of this great University. Your MU journey extends beyond today, beyond commencement. This is your University today, and it will always be your University. This is a great institution, and as we all work to make it even better, we will need your help.”
To access replays of both commencements, head to the Methodist University YouTube channel. Hundreds of photos from both commencements will be available on the Methodist University Flickr page at a later date.

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