More than 250 undergraduate and graduate students will receive their degrees at Methodist University’s commencement on Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6.
The graduate ceremony will be at 2 p.m. Friday in Huff Concert Hall on campus, according to a news release. More than 60 students will complete one of the university’s 10 graduate programs.
At 10 a.m. Saturday at Crown Coliseum, about 200 graduates of undergraduate programs will receive their degrees.
A baccalaureate service is planned at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Matthews Chapel.
Provost Suzanne Blum Malley said the two ceremonies will replace a single commencement that was held in years past, the news release said.
“The faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Methodist University are looking forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our graduates throughout Commencement Weekend,” said Blum Malley. “We know our graduates will carry a commitment to Methodist University’s mission and values as they embark on their next journeys as lifelong Monarchs.”
Both ceremonies will be live-streamed online. To access the live videos, go to the university’s event page for the graduate commencement and/or the Crown Coliseum live-streaming page for the undergraduate commencement.
More information on parking, tickets, venue policies, and more is at the undergraduate or graduate commencement pages.
The keynote speaker at the graduate ceremony will be Michael Nagowski, chief executive officer of Cape Fear Valley Health, the release said.
Nagowski played a pivotal role in the partnership between Methodist University and Cape Fear Valley Health to establish a medical school.
“Even with the challenges that came with the pandemic, these graduate students have worked hard to achieve this milestone,” Nagowski said. “I hope to inspire and encourage them as they embark on the next journey in their careers and remind them of their opportunity to make a difference.”
University President Stanley T. Wearden will hand graduates their diplomas on stage.
Among the Class of 2023 undergraduates is Valeria Matute, who was selected as this year’s Distinguished Graduate. Matute is among five students in her class with the highest GPA and was chosen to speak by her peers. The native of Valencia, Venezuela, will receive a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in professional tennis management.
Nursing major Karma Choki, a native of Bhutan, will be the first from her country to graduate from Methodist. As part of a long-standing tradition, the Bhutan flag will be permanently displayed in Berns Student Center along with the 128 flags from other countries across the world, the release said.
The keynote speaker for the undergraduate ceremony will be Mary Lynn Bryan, who chaired the university’s board of trustees from 2012 to 2017 and is a board member dating back to 1997. Bryan has lived in Fayetteville since 1983.
Friday’s baccalaureate will recognize this year’s graduates with a more personal service in Matthews Chapel. It will feature music by the MU Chorale and senior Ashleigh Adamson, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music performance.
The Rev. Clay L. Barrow will speak on “A Charge to Keep I Have.”