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SLU’s School of Education Hosts In-Person Precommencement Ceremony in May


Saint Louis University’s School of Education was pleased to honor the graduating class of 2021 at an in-person precommencement ceremony on May 18.

The ceremony, held at Chaifetz Arena, celebrated the accomplishments of fall 2020 and spring 2021 graduates. Students, faculty, and staff were thrilled that the ceremony was held in-person. As a last-minute addition, doctoral students were hooded during the ceremony. While the ceremony did not look like the ones in past years, it was a memorable day for graduates and their families. Graduates were awarded degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Education, Specialist in Education, Master of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts. Friends and family members who were not able to attend the ceremony in-person were able to watch a live stream of the event. You can view a recording of the ceremony here.

Karen I. Hall, Ed.D., former superintendent of Maplewood Richmond Heights School District and CEO and President of RISE Consulting, gave the precommencement address. Dr. Hall is an accomplished educational consultant and academic leader with extensive experience providing equity-focused leadership and directing academic program administration. During her keynote address, Hall reminded graduates that passion for education demands us to be champions for educational equity.

The hand you extend to all your students will leave its mark on society. It will be for the betterment of the world long after we are gone.”

Karen I. Hall, Ed.D.

Gary Ritter, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education, offered his congratulations to the graduates: “After all you have done to push through 2020 and graduate in 2021 – your grit and perseverance were truly on display as you completed your studies over this past year! Now, after this challenging year, you are called to live out the mission and values of Saint Louis University in all that you do moving forward.”

During the ceremony, three retiring School of Education faculty members were honored.

Susan Everson
Susan Everson, Ph.D.

Susan Everson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, is retiring after over 20 years in the School of Education. She was a driving force in the creation of our professional doctorate (Ed.D.) program. Everson served as the Educational Leadership program director from 2010-2017. Her knowledge of research and her connectedness to great thinkers as well as her leadership are invaluable.

Dennis Lea
Dennis Lea, Ed.D.

Dennis Lea, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, joined SLU after a distinguished career as superintendent in a rural community, Rawls County; a small city, Fulton, Missouri; and a suburb, Valley Park. At SLU, Lea shared his knowledge of leadership and management of school facilities with his students. His guidance to fellow faculty and advisees alike is kind and generous.

Beth Shindel
Beth Winfrey Shindel, Ph.D.

Beth Winfrey Shindel, Ph.D., Professor of Higher Education Administration, has had a career marked by increasing levels of administrative leadership. When she joined the faculty in the School of Education as a full professor, she brought with her significant success and insight from her career of leadership. She has lent her expertise on dissertation committees for students in all the graduate programs in the School of Education and been a source of wisdom and support for many faculty members.

We wish all three retiring faculty members well as they transition to their next phase of life.

For more information about Saint Louis University’s School of Education, please call 314-977-3292 or visit our website.