North Park Awards 341 Degrees, Two Honorary Doctorates

Post a Comment » Written on May 14th, 2008     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (May 14, 2008) – Friends and family watched 341 students from 11 countries receive baccalaureate and graduate-level degrees during North Park University’s 115th Spring Commencement Convocation on Saturday.

South African anti-apartheid activist Ivor H. Jenkins delivered the commencement address and was awarded a Doctorate of Laws for his work over the years promoting justice, reconciliation and democracy building within and far beyond the borders of South Africa.

He also served as the key contact for eight study tours by North Park students to South Africa, opening doors for them to visit everything from Parliament, churches and schools, to the Robben Island prison, squatter camps and former black townships.

“South Africa has come to North Park, and North Park has been brought to South Africa,” Jenkins said. In addition to leading study tours, Jenkins has helped recruit several South African students of color to attend and receive degrees from the university’s Chicago campus.

The university also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to Brenda Salter McNeil. The ordained Evangelical Covenant Church minister was honored for her work in promoting racial and ethnic reconciliation. During her acceptance speech, she described the graduates as the “reconciliation generation.”

Awards also were given to graduates:
•    Senior Par Excellence Awards were given to two students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and service to the University. Michele Good-Hanson, who received a Bachelor of Arts in global studies, and Joshua Hickok, who received a Bachelor of Arts in biblical and theological studies, were the recipients.
•    Outstanding Senior Awards were given to Laura Comeau and Tom Dierenfeld for their academic excellence and extraordinary leadership on and off campus.

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