At the dedication ceremony for Valparaiso University’s Memorial Chapel in September 1959, the officiant petitioned the congregation, in part:
“Almighty God, Who dost endow Thy children with manifold gifts and graces, blessing their lives with the treasure of beauty and harmony, and dost make skillful their hands to the creation of the useful and the beautiful.”
Almost 60 years later, the heart of that supplication will not be lost on Angie Moran as she enters the place of worship now known as the Chapel of the Resurrection for Valpo’s Graduate School Commencement on May 19, 2018.
“I modeled to my children and others the importance of being a continuous learner, the traits of perseverance and discipline, and faith – that if God calls you to do something for Him, then He will see you through it, with an outcome even better than you anticipate,” said Moran, a human resources professional from Pierre, South Dakota.
It will be her first visit to the 350-acre campus of the private, Lutheran university after two years as a student in the 100% online Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program.
In choosing to advance her education, Moran sought a program that allowed her to continue working full time and raising her family, while also giving her access to faculty members “with respect for Christian values in ethical decision-making in healthcare.”
Moran will be among the nearly 120 students, including three others from the Healthcare Administration program, receiving their graduate diplomas at the chapel, built as a beacon of faith and hope on the highest point on campus.
The Graduate School’s Class of 2018 represents 24 U.S. states, as well as Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq, Nigeria and Vietnam.
“Graduation is an exciting time to celebrate achievement and to look forward to fresh opportunities to positively impact the world,” Moran said. “It is not the ending of a two-year chapter; no, it is much more than that. It’s a gratifying milestone on the continuum of my lifelong story.”
Commencement has served as a familiar marker along Chris McQuillin’s personal and professional journey for more than 30 years. He graduated from Valpo with his law degree in 1985 and joined his alma mater’s faculty in 2013 after a career as a lawyer and law enforcement administrator.
“I always attend commencement,” said McQuillin, who teaches on campus and online, including as part of the MS in Healthcare Administration program. “It is a chance for me to celebrate the accomplishment of my students. I enjoy seeing the look of happiness on their faces and meeting their families.
“I enjoy when the online students attend because it gives me the opportunity to meet them in person,” he said. “I had one student from Iran a few years ago whose family was not able to get travel visas to see her graduate with her master’s degree. I told her that I would be her stand-in family. It was emotional for us both.”
Graduation day also carries a bittersweet tinge for McQuillin.
“Students I have maintained contact with, and seen on campus, will be leaving,” he said. “I know that I will miss those conversations about topics of the day, but I also know that they are on their way to successful careers.”
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