Millikin University graduates begin new chapter
Millikin University honored the graduating Class of 2016 with two ceremonies on May 21 and 22. Millikin's traditional undergraduate commencement ceremony took place May 22 at the Decatur Civic Center where approximately 400 students walked the stage to receive their diplomas.
Millikin also honored graduates of its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree Programs on May 21 at Albert Taylor Theatre. The event featured the first graduating class of Millikin's Doctor of Nursing Practice Program.
Millikin University alumna and trustee emeritus Dr. Jennifer C. Friday '77, assistant professor of psychology at Georgia Gwinnett College and president of The Friday Consulting Group, LLC, delivered the commencement address on May 22 while student speaker Alyssa P. Saklak, from Schaumburg, Ill., delivered a speech titled "Plan Your Work, and Work Your Plan." Saklak graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Dr. Friday graduated in 1977 from Millikin University earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The title of her commencement address was "You are a Gift."
"The difference between school and life is that school teaches you lessons and then gives you a test," said Dr. Friday. "But life gives you tests and then you learn the lessons. You are about to begin the greatest learning experience of your life. Are you ready for the test? Because there will be many."
Millikin graduate Alex Tueth, from Decatur, Ill., an accounting and information systems double major, credits Millikin University for paving the way to success with a curriculum geared towards Performance Learning.
"The tools I learned at Millikin will be beneficial for me," said Tueth. "One moment in particular was the homeless database development project we worked on with Dove Inc. It was one of the proudest moments of my career at Millikin."
Tueth will begin his career as a business analyst working at the State Farm Corporate Headquarters in Bloomington, Ill.
William H. Manley of Decatur, Ill., vice president of operations support at Archer Daniels Midland Company, delivered the May 21 commencement address. Manley received his Master of Business Administration from Millikin University in 2012, and his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.
The ceremony also featured speeches from Sara C. Theis, who earned her Master of Business Administration, and Candace N. Benner '91, who graduated with a Doctor in Nursing Practice.
Theis currently serves as instructor of theatre at Millikin University. Benner, from Forsyth, Ill., received her Master of Science in Nursing from Illinois State University, and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Millikin University in 1991. She is a board certified nurse practitioner.