On April 28, 2018, 137 Saint Luke’s College nursing students received their Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing degrees. Of the 137 graduates, 86 were in the traditional BSN cohort, 31 were part of the online RN-BSN class, and 20 received their MSN degrees or certificates.
“Nursing school is challenging,” said Associate Professor Dr. Sharon White-Lewis. “It's amazing to see all their hard work pay off as they become part of one of the most trusted professions.”
The commencement featured speaker Dr. William LaManno. Dr. LaManno spoke about his family’s experience with health care and how healing begins with nurses.
The ceremony highlighted students for their achievements. Elizabeth DeWolfe received the Academic Excellence Award for the BSN student with the highest grade point average. Hope Abarr received the Professional Excellence Award for demonstrating high potential for professional nursing and the Clinical Excellence Award for high clinical performance. Nominated by her preceptors, Molly Murphy was given the DAISY in Training Award.
Associate Professor Deb Grandstaff received the Isabel Curdy Teaching Excellence Award. The award honors the faculty member who demonstrates a commitment to the profession of nursing and the College; serves as a professional role model; demonstrates creative approaches in working with students and serves as a humanistic advocate for students and student learning.
The College selected 1948 diploma graduate, Dr. Melva Steen as the Barbara L. Kleist Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. Dr. Steen had a life-long career in nursing education. She taught at both Saint Luke’s College and Avila nursing departments in the ‘80s and later served as the director of nursing at the University of Southern Colorado. She is retired but continues to mentor first-year medical students and enjoys creative non-fiction classes and helping others write their memoirs.
Graduation was held at The Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Missouri and included awarding of diplomas and a pinning ceremony, unique to nurses.