Westminster Graduates Largest Class in History at 2015 Commencement Ceremony

May 19, 2015

May 19, 2015 More than 990 students to receive diplomas during the historic event SALT LAKE CITY - A historic number of students will walk across the stage of the Maverik Center to receive their diplomas during Westminster's 140th commencement ceremony on May 30. More than 990 graduates will participate in this year's event. Approximately 603 undergraduate and 389 graduate degrees will be awarded this year. The Class of 2015 is made up of students from 39 U.S. states and 28 foreign countries. The graduating students range in age from 20-66. This year's commencement speaker is Dr. Clayborne Carson, Stanford University historian and the director of the King Papers Project. Selected in 1985 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King to edit and publish the papers of her late husband, Dr. Carson has devoted most his professional life to the study of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the movements King inspired. Carson's extensive writing collection reflects not only his research about King, but also his undergraduate civil rights and antiwar activism, with insightful works like Martin's Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., a memoir that traces his life from teenage participant in the 1963 March on Washington to internationally-known King scholar. In addition to his numerous books and scholarly writings, Dr. Carson has devoted considerable attention to bringing his research and King's ideas to broader public attention. The Liberation Curriculum initiative that Dr. Carson conceived has become a major source of educational materials about King and the ongoing struggles to achieve peace with social justice, and the King Institute's enormously popular website reaches a diverse, global audience. A member of Stanford's department of history since receiving his doctorate from UCLA in 1975, Dr. Carson has also served as visiting professor or visiting fellow at American University, the University of California, Berkeley and Duke University, to name a few. He was born in Buffalo, New York. Before her retirement, his wife, Susan Ann Carson, served as consulting editor of the King Institute. The largest number of degrees will be awarded in the areas of nursing, psychology, finance, business administration, economics, accounting and marketing. Graduating senior Pratik Raghu will be this year's student speaker. Raghu served as a Presidential Ambassador and was in Westminster's Honors program. He will receive a customized bachelor's degree in postcolonial ethics. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in political science or international relations.   Commencement Speaker: The commencement speaker is Dr. Clayborne Carson (bio - reference above)   Honorary Degree Recipients: Dr. Carson will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters.   Paula Foil Julander will receive a Doctor of Public Service. With more than half a century of dedicated service, Julander has combined two separate professional paths, in nursing and in government, and uses skills from each of these areas to affect change, particularly in the area of women's healthcare reform. Hailing from North Carolina, Julander received her bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Utah and her master's degree in nursing administration from Brigham Young University. She served as a trustee of Westminster College for eight years and is now a trustee emerita. Julander's nursing career spanned 45 years, culminating in her appointment as executive director of the Utah Nurses Association. She used her nursing experience to push for healthcare reform during her service in the Utah House of Representatives from 1989 to 1992, as well as in the Utah State Senate from 1998 to 2005.   Alvin "Al" Richer will receive a Doctor of Business Administration. He earned a Bachelor of Science in finance from Westminster College in 1982 and later worked as a part-time management instructor at the college. He also attended an elite technical academy in New York City, where he studied pre-engineering subjects, and the CCNY Baruch School of Business. Richer serves as Chairman of the Board for Arnold Machinery Company, a privately held distributor of construction, mining, material handling, and farm equipment. He bought the company on October 1, 1984, and was president and CEO from 1985 to 2002. Due to his successful management practices, Arnold Machinery has achieved consistent profitability and increased sales volume. Richer is also the author of Silver Service® The Foundation of a Management Philosophy. Richer served on the Westminster Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2014, during which time he and his wife, Helene, gave a substantial gift to name the Richer Commons at Westminster. In addition, he and Helene created the Alvin and Helene Richer Academic Excellence Scholarship in 1994, awarded to Honors freshmen who demonstrate academic excellence. The Richers are devoted to Westminster-giving to every capital project at the college in the last 20 years.   For more information on Westminster's commencement events, visit http://www.westminstercollege.edu/commencement/

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About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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