Marian University December Commencement

FOND DU LAC, Wis. – Marian University held its December commencement exercises on Friday, December 15.

At the commencement ceremony held in the Marian University Sadoff Gymnasism, keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient Ave Bie, business law and energy attorney with the national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP, congratulated graduates on their achievements, and challenged them to embrace life and the journey ahead.

“Today, graduates, you may feel powerful, elated, perhaps even a bit relieved. This feeling of potential, of your ability to step up and open that doorway and walk through it, without having full knowledge of what is on the other side, is a very important feeling.  Notice it. Be emboldened by it. Nurture it. It’s important. It will be your companion as you define and redefine yourself again and again.” said Bie. “Truly, life is amazing and surprising and awe-inspiring.  We are experiencing that today.  But I would be telling half the story if I didn’t note that there will be those times when life will kick you in the shins, hard. Not one of us will escape these experiences and some of you may already feel like you’ve had your share of repeated kicks. Truly, I am so excited for you.  To paraphrase the poet David Whyte, go forth boldly dear graduates because, “everything, everything, everything is waiting for you.””

In addition, student speaker Rachael Hill, a graduate student majoring in thanatology and a military widow, spoke to her fellow graduates about the value of a Marian University education and challenged graduates to pursue one’s passion.

“I felt that the faculty had taken me in and were excited to push me to reach my full potential. They were more than just college professors and I felt that I had become part of a unique family that you can’t find just anywhere.  They were educators, but they were also cheerleaders and mentors.” said Hill. “ “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain (Vivian Greene) .”  I share my story not in looking for sympathy or pity, but to hopefully help with personal reflection.  Life isn’t perfect and things aren’t always going to go as planned, so when life throws a curve ball your way somewhere down the road, I hope you stop and reflect on today.  I hope you think about all you accomplished to get here, despite the hardships and difficulties put in your path. You already learned how to dance, but it is up to you to keep your feet moving.”

The ceremony featured the graduation of 66 undergraduate and 37 graduate recipients. Two students received Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

The evening’s activities also included a Nursing Pinning Ceremony, Education Commissioning Ceremony, and a reception.

Marian University was founded in 1936 by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes in Fond du Lac, Wis. The institution has one of the lowest student-faculty ratios in the state, and strives to live its core values as a community committed to learning, dedicated to service and social justice and joined together by spiritual traditions. Marian offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs at its main campus and in facilities throughout Wisconsin.