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Record Number Receive Degrees at 73 Commencement

Record Number Receive Degrees at 73 Commencement

A record 333 students received degrees at Northwest University’s 73rd Commencement, which was held May 9, 2009, at Overlake Christian Church. The Class of 2009 included 258 baccalaureate degrees and 75 master’s degrees.

The Commencement address was given by Mr. Kemper Freeman, Jr., a fourth-generation Washington businessman and the developer of the Bellevue Square Mall and other premier commercial spaces in Bellevue.

In his welcome address, Dr. Joseph Castleberry, the President of Northwest University, stated that “Commencement is a day in which we think again about visions and dreams, celebrating their fulfillment in this odd and paradoxical day that represents the end of the beginning and the beginning of the main event in the lives of our graduates.”

The student address was given by Alex Croutworst, a graduate from the School of Business and Management. Alex was chosen by the University faculty and his fellow graduates to speak at Commencement.

Special honors presented during the ceremony included:

The Sigma Chi Pi Award, which honored graduates and alumni on the basis of outstanding academic scholarship, approved Christian character, and recognizable achievement in leadership, service, or vocation. Graduates and alumni chosen for this honor society are selected by the faculty. Graduates honored were: Hannah Adams, Trevor Barnes, Kevin Botterbusch, Andrea Cotton, Claude DaCorsi, Ryan Gregg, Nikolina Hatton, Jadon Haynes, Shauna Marshall, Christa Rush, Jordan Rinta, Kyle Severson, Megan Smaaladen, Charity Spears, Stephanie Tell, Heather Thornburg, Jennifer Whitley, and Daniela Zuniga.

Alumni honored were: Dr. Jordan Copeland from the class of 1999, Bishop Joshua H.K. Banda from the class of 1989, and Reverend Darrel Johnsen from the class of 1979.

The Delta Tau Faculty Award of Honor, voted on by the faculty, was given to Dr. J. Philip Gustafson for his outstanding contribution to the development and work of Northwest University.

The Distinguished Service Award, given by the Board of Directors, was awarded to Arlyn and Sharon Nelson for their outstanding service to Northwest University, and their significant contributions to the students, colleagues, and the entire University community.

The President’s Award, initiated and sponsored by the Office of the President, was given to Philippe Vallerand for his significant and meritorious service to the University, to the community, and to public welfare.

An honorary Doctoral degree, voted on by the Board of Directors, is one of the most significant recognitions of success available in our society. It honors a person for their success in both their life and career. The two candidates conferred with honorary doctorates were Pastor Samuel Uchimura, Doctor of Divinity and Mr. Kemper Freeman, Jr., Doctor of Laws.

The class of 2009, the 73rd and largest graduating class of Northwest University, included: 229 candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree, 1 for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, 28 for the Bachelor of Science degree, 34 for the Master of Arts degree, 13 for the Master in Business Administration degree, and 28 for the Master in Teaching degree.  Of the 333 graduates, there were 214 women and 119 men; 37% graduated with academic honors; and included international students representing the countries of Argentina, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Malawi, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Posted on Monday, June 1, 2009