Judson University celebrated more than 150 graduates at the 68th commencement on Dec. 15.
The Christian liberal arts and sciences university held two commencement ceremonies, one at 10 a.m. for graduates of the School of Art, Design and Architecture and the School of Leadership and Business, and another at 2 p.m. for graduates of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Education.
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New York Times best-selling author, speaker, screenwriter and songwriter Joan Bauer was the keynote speaker for both ceremonies.
"I want to submit to you, don't take your degree and put it on a wall," Bauer urged the graduates. "Give your education to God. Like the story of the loaves and the fishes, let him use you to feed and touch others."
In her acclaimed 11 novels, Bauer explores difficult issues with humor and hope. She is best known for her books "Rules of the Road" and "Hope was Here."
Several graduates were honored with awards in academic excellence and campus leadership at their respective ceremonies.
Elementary education graduate Emily Moxness of Elgin, was honored with the Student Service Award, which recognizes "the graduating senior who has best exemplified sincerity in dedication to Christ, achievement in academic pursuit, and promotion of Judson University ideals."
Exercise and sport science graduate Joseph Monaha of Peoria and management and leadership graduate Denise Tassoni of Rockford, were each honored with the President's Scholar Award, which recognizes graduating seniors who have demonstrated distinguished academic achievement in the context of a Christian liberal arts program.
Thomas Nicoski of St. Charles, received the Ames Award, which recognizes a graduate from Judson's School of Leadership and Business who demonstrates leadership potential to impact their organization and their world in a positive manner.
Master of education in literacy graduate Benjamin Zulauf of Elmhurst received the Road to Damascus Award.
Judson University is a fully accredited, private Christian university of the liberal arts, sciences and professions.
Judson offers degrees in more than 60 different majors/minors for traditional, graduate, and adult students.
Located in Elgin, Judson University ranks consistently among the Top-Tier of Regional Colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report.
With an academically challenging environment and encouraging spiritual community, Judson shapes lives that will shape the world.