The University of St. Francis graduated more than 400 students—including its first doctoral class—during commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 7 in the Sullivan Recreation Center.
Four doctoral students and 175 master’s degree students received diplomas during a 10 a.m. ceremony while 240 bachelor’s degree students received diplomas at a 3 p.m. ceremony. USF launched its first doctoral program—Doctor of Nursing Practice— in fall 2009 in order to prepare nurses to provide the most advanced level of nursing care. Doctoral graduates include Kendra Hansen and Deborah Panuska, both of Kankakee; Eric Peterson, of Willmar, Minn; and Tracy Scott, of Crownpoint, N.M.
Degrees were presented by university President Michael Vinciguerra, Provost Frank Pascoe and J.D. Ross, chairman of the Board of Trustees.
The commencement speaker was Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., president of St. Bonaventure University, a Catholic, Franciscan university of 2,500 students located in southwest in New York.
Sr. Margaret is a leader with a strong impulse for collaborative models and is working to develop a 21st century plan for educational excellence in a student-centered learning environment. Her many successes expanding and modernizing the St. Bonaventure campus were backed by a productive capital fundraising campaign.
Sr. Margaret serves on the board of the Council of Independent Colleges of New York and is a member of the board of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities, and the Secretariat for the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition. She has lectured extensively in the United States and abroad.