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Midyear Commencement Approaches as SLU Prepares to Honor New Grads

Midyear Commencement 2016

SLU's newest alumni will walk at their graduation ceremony on Friday, Dec. 15 at Chaifetz Arena. Photo by Steve Dolan

Saint Louis University will celebrate the graduation of its newest group of alumni at 2017’s Midyear Commencement on Friday, Dec. 15, at the Chaifetz Arena. The commencement exercises begin at 3 p.m. and this year, for the first time, SLU will livestream the commencement ceremony for Billiken families and friends to share in the new graduates’ celebration.

As a highlight of the exercises, Lauren Arnold, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology in the College for Public Health and Social Justice, will give this year’s keynote talk. Arnold was selected as the recipient of the Nancy McNeir Ring Award for Excellence in Teaching by SLU’s chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society. The award, created in 1966, is named after the University’s first dean of women and is presented annually to a faculty member who displays a special dedication to students both in and outside of the classroom.

In the selection process, a former student noted that “Dr. Arnold uses her passion for teaching to help make real-world connections and get her students excited about learning.”

Lauren Arnold, Ph.D.
Lauren Arnold, Ph.D.

Arnold also serves as director of undergraduate programs in biostatistics, health management and public health. She has taught several courses and her honors include the 2017 Riegelman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Public Health Education from the Association of Schools and Programs in Public Health as well as the 2013 Terry Leet Teaching Award from SLU’s College for Public Health and Social Justice.

Graduating students from all of the University's schools, colleges and centers will walk following the traditional academic procession led by the University mace, which will be carried by Susan Tebb, Ph.D., professor of social work.

Following an invocation by Justin Daffron, S.J., special assistant to the president for growth strategies, and welcomes by University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., and Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., Joshua J. VanKooten, a graduating senior from the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business, will give the traditional student address.

Arnold’s speech will follow before the recognition of the graduates by school and closing benediction by Christopher Collins, S.J., assistant to the president for mission and identity. The new alumni will then recess out to join Pestello, the SLU community and their families and friends for a reception hosted by Pestello in the Chaifetz Arena concourse.

Special areas of the concourse have been set aside to allow graduates from the same school to gather as follows:

  • Section 102: School for Professional Studies, Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology
  • Section 105: School of Medicine, School of Law, Centers of Saint Louis University
  • Section 108: Doisy College of Health Sciences
  • Section 113: Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business, School of Education
  • Section 116: School of Nursing, College for Public Health and Social Justice
  • Section 119: College of Arts and Sciences

For more information, visit SLU Commencement.

Saint Louis University is a world-class Catholic, Jesuit institution educating nearly 13,000 students on two dynamic, urban campuses - in St. Louis, Missouri, and Madrid, Spain. Founded in 1818, the University is now celebrating its bicentennial.
With a legacy of innovative academics and research, compassionate health care and faithful service, Saint Louis University attracts a diverse community of scholars who push intellectual boundaries in pursuit of creative, meaningful ways to impact the world, striving to serve a higher purpose and seek a greater good.