On May 13, 2017, 136 Saint Luke’s College nursing students received bachelor’s and master’s of science in nursing degrees and post-graduate certificates. This was the largest number of students to graduate in the College’s 114-year history.
“This large graduating class reflects what is happening in health care and at the College,” said College President Hubert Benitez, DDS, PhD. “As health care continues to change and expand, the College continues to expand its quality nursing programs while developing allied health degrees to fulfill workplace demand.”
The ceremony highlighted top students and faculty members for their achievements. Jennifer O’Hara received the Academic Excellence Award as the BSN student with the highest grade point average. Quiana Miller was awarded the Professional Excellence Award, and Genevra Spinnato received the Clinical Excellence Award. Nominated by preceptors, Danielle Lillis was given the first DAISY in Training Award. The faculty and graduating BSN senior students chose Instructor Jamie Parks, MSN, RN for the Isabel Curdy Teaching Excellence Award.
The commencement featured speaker Ann Willoughby founder of Willoughby. She reflected on her 49-year career and lessons learned as founder and owner of her brand agency. She encouraged graduates to work hard and continually improve but to take time for themselves. “Remember, everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including yourself,” she said.
The College selected 1967 graduate, Pat Klase as the Barbara L. Kleist Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. For nearly 30 years, Klase worked at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City and administered operations in 10 separate specialty clinics. Today, she serves as the Chief Nursing Officer at Su Clinica in Harlingen, Texas. Klase encouraged students “to give the highest quality and compassionate care you can give.”
Graduation was held at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, Missouri and included a pinning ceremony and awarding of diplomas to BSNs plus a hooding ceremony for MSN graduates.
**More photos from the event can be found here.