North Park celebrated the achievements of more than 250 graduates at the Winter 2019 Commencement Friday, Dec. 13 in the University gymnasium.
Upon being presented by Provost Michael O. Emerson, President Mary K. Surridge addressed the graduates and their friends and family.
“This is indeed a glorious moment,” President Surridge said. “Years of diligent work have led to this milestone; you have reason to be proud of your accomplishment.”
Julia Janina Koza, a commuter student who works in retail and hotel management to help pay for her education, was the recipient of the prestigious Ahnfeldt Medallion, awarded to the graduate with the highest grade point average. Koza, who received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education, also sang in the University Choir and played clarinet.
Koza was introduced by David Otfinoski, chair of the Board of Trustees, who noted that Koza “is not afraid of hard work, but is also someone who sought to help others excel in their work as well.”
In addressing the graduates, President Surridge encouraged students to remember their professors, who “began praying for you literally before you arrived on campus,” and to cherish their time here.
“Look with joy upon your years here, celebrate this milestone night, and look forward with hope to the bright future,” she said.
The ceremony was followed by receptions in Anderson Chapel and Hamming Hall celebrating the graduates.