North Park Celebrates Three Commencements

CHICAGO, IL (May 12, 2010) – North Park University held three commencements on the same day for the first time Saturday.

The undergraduate celebration was held in the morning, with 256 students earning degrees.

An honorary Doctor of Humane Letters was presented to psychologist and popular author Kevin Leman. Leman, most famous for his books on the role of birth order in developing personality, humored the audience with comments about his children and his own academic difficulties at North Park.

He was admitted to the school on academic probation and expelled after three semesters. He later turned his life around and credits the school with making a significant spiritual difference in his life.

Leman also told the graduates that their family and friends who jammed the gymnasium were “really not here to celebrate your accomplishments as much as they’re here to celebrate your life.”

Academic and life accomplishments were honored. The Ahnfeldt Medallion was presented to Lydia Sanders and Marie Rudd for achieving a perfect grade point average and for their commitment to service. Ruth Blidar and Laura Johnson also were recognized for being the school’s latest recipients of the prestigious international Fulbright Awards.

Amy Russell and Eric Larson, winners of the Senior Par Excellence Award, were recognized at a previous honors convocation.

Members of the 50-year class stood in gold robes on the back steps of Old Main and sang North Park fight songs to the current graduates as they processed to the gymnasium from the Brandel Library.

Degrees were later presented to 40 graduates of North Park Theological Seminary, and 99 students in the University graduate programs received diplomas.

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