WilmU Honors 2019 Graduates

More than 2,000 degrees awarded at three commencement ceremonies

Carol King-Reis
Commencement Speaker Carol King-Reis

Wilmington University awarded 2,196 academic degrees in its Winter Commencement ceremonies at the Chase Center on the Riverfront on January 27th and 28th.

The Class of 2019 includes graduates from 39 countries who range in age from 19 to 69 years old. At least 618 of their degrees were completed entirely online, including one earned by a student living in Japan. They join WilmU’s alumni network of more than 50,000 graduates worldwide.

Carol King-Reis of Wilmington, a Master of Science graduate in Administration of Human Services, delivered the commencement address at Sunday morning’s ceremony for WilmU’s College of Health Professions and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

“None of us sitting here as graduates today are here by accident,” she said. “This was the result of purposeful action and, I would say, vision.”

To Ms. King-Reis, who interned at the Delaware Division for the Visually Impaired during the Fall 2018 semester, that vision is one of the lasting benefits of a WilmU education.

“By vision, I’m not talking about sight,” she added, but “the ability to perceive not only what is, but what can be, and perhaps what is to come.”

Annette Berry of Smyrna, who graduated Sunday with a Bachelor of Science in Communication, an Integrated Marketing major and a Human Resource Management certificate, addressed Sunday afternoon’s ceremony for the College of Business and College of Arts and Sciences.

“As a mother, military wife, Navy reservist, full-time employee, and volunteer recreational cheerleading coach, time was not on my side in my pursuit of higher learning,” she said. “It was my choice to bypass the traditional education route, but it was Wilmington University that eliminated every justifiable excuse that I could come up with to say, it’s just not in the cards for me to get a degree. It’s too hard, too expensive, too much time away from what I really should be doing.

“To that I say, thank you, Wilmington University, for getting it,” said Ms. Berry. “For understanding what goes on in the lives of people who have every intention of bettering themselves, just not the time or means to do so.”

Daulton Nelson of South Harrison, N.J., who earned a Bachelor of Science in Game Design and Development, spoke before the assembled students, faculty, trustees, and administrative staff at Monday’s ceremony for the College of Education and the College of Technology.

“Who are we now?” asked Mr. Nelson, who for a class project managed the creation of a virtual reality training program for pediatric ER staff. “We are no longer who we were when we first entered Wilmington University. But it is not a time to fear. It is a time to celebrate.

WilmU winter 2019 commencement graduate“Look ahead,” he said, “the door opens wide, and do not fear. We are strong and intelligent and together. We are Wildcats.”

Elizabeth O’Connor of Middletown, a Bachelor of Science graduate in Organizational Management, and Claire Rudolph, who earned a Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Organizational Leadership, were also honored with WilmU’s Audrey Kohl Doberstein Award for Leadership at Sunday afternoon’s ceremony.

The annual award, named for the university’s president from 1979 to 2006, recognizes an undergraduate and a graduate student who demonstrate dedication to the university’s mission.

Lauren Foraker of Townsend, a Bachelor of Science graduate in Media Communications with a minor in Drama, and Stefanie Glenn of Fulton, Maryland, a Doctor of Nursing Practice graduate, received the Trustees’ Award for service for their involvement in community and national causes.

Dr. Glenn, a commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Corps, has been deployed to West Africa to support the ebola virus response as well as to Puerto Rico in the wake of 2017’s Hurricane Maria.

Ms. Foraker has interned as a patient advocate for Reproductive Associates of Delaware and has volunteered with the Endometriosis Foundation of America, Pursuit For Peace, and the Heart Summary Café, among other organizations.

Commencement Jan19 Slideshow

Photo slide show