New Graduates Acknowledged at Winter Commencement

North Park University's 2009 Winter Commencement

CHICAGO (December 16, 2009) – Nearly 300 North Park University students received their degrees during the Winter Commencement exercises, which took place on Friday evening, December 11, in Carlson Gymnasium.

Degrees were awarded to 156 undergraduate and 98 graduate students who had completed course requirements by December, as well as on an additional 30 undergraduate and 11 graduate candidates who finished in August 2009.

In his Commencement address, President Parkyn charged graduates to use the unique voice they have developed throughout their time at North Park in the vocations they will pursue. He illustrated the point with a recording from his father-in-law, known for delighting his family with orations of famous writings. The recording (“’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” in honor of the season) was done for Parkyn’s grandson, who would forever have a memory of his great-grandfather’s voice.

The gymnasium was almost filled to capacity, as were both of North Park’s venues for receptions following the ceremony. “It was obvious observing the guests that this was very much a family affair for many of these graduates, especially those from the School of Adult Learning,” observed Sue Gost, director of University events, who sat with the wife and four children of one such B.A. recipient.

The University Choir under the direction of Kirin Nielsen performed two selections, “Praise!” by Alex Rowley, and “Sure On This Shining Night” by Samuel Barber. Another highlight of the evening was the recitation of the Aaronic Benediction, based on Numbers 6:24-26: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” In keeping with North Park tradition, it was delivered by several students in their native languages: English, Swedish, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, and Polish.