The Woods celebrates 171st Commencement

May 5th, 2012 |

View photos from the 2012 Commencement on Flickr!

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College celebrated academic achievement of its graduates at the 171st commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 5, 2012. Janet Clark, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs presented 223 students with associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees. This year’s graduating class included students from 28 states and from three countries – Jordan, Nigeria and Vietnam.

SMWC President Dottie King, Ph.D, with Myra Daniels
SMWC President Dottie King, Ph.D.,
with Myra Daniels

Advertising executive, entrepreneur and a philanthropist, Myra Janco Daniels, one of the most accomplished women in advertising, received an honorary doctorate of humane letters and delivered a powerful commencement address on success.  

“To be successful is to be part of a team,” explained Daniels. “Successful people give to others and they give to their communities. And when you give, you also receive. That’s one of the oldest lessons of human nature, and one that you were taught here. But it’s a lesson we often forget.” 

She encouraged the graduates to discover what they are passionate about, “to always take inventory, recognize opportunity, and take intelligent risks.”

King with Rachel Ambrose
King with Rachel Ambrose

Each year the College presents the Distinguished Alumnae Award to graduates who epitomized The Woods tradition of excellence by their professional achievement, personal accomplishments. This year’s recipient was Rachel Eberle Ambrose’64 retired Associated Press journalist. She was recognized for her leadership in maintaining a level of career excellence over her lifetime and for her commitment to her alma mater. Ambrose also received an honorary doctorate of humane letters. 

After the ceremony was a time for celebration and reflection. 

“I am so excited to be here,” said Kerry Muñoz, Woods Online education major from Lakeland Fla. “I have two children and I want to show them that you can work hard to achieve your goals.”  

Muñoz indeed worked hard. She graduated summa cum laude and was the recipient of the Maud Helm Rockwell medal for academic excellence.

Commencement Award Winners

Maud Helm Rockwell Medals for Academic Excellence

Kerry Muñoz - Collierville, Tennessee

Elizabeth Wright - Georgetown, Indiana


Kappa Gamma Pi  

St. Catherine Medals

Scott Shelhart Wheatfield, Indiana

Elizabeth Wright - Georgetown, Indiana


Alumni Leadership and Service Medals

Patricia Jones - Oblong, Illinois

Jeffrey Shick - Lawrenceville, Illinois

Elizabeth Wright - Georgetown, Indiana


Alumnae Faculty Leadership Award

Sandra Chappell, associate professor of education


Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching 

Patricia Jancosek, associate professor of art

Kerry Munoz

Kerry Muñoz '12



Faculty Excellence Award for Scholarship

Jennie Mitchell, Ph.D., professor of business


Faculty Excellence Award for Service

Michael Boswell, assistant professor of music and director of choirs

Comment on this article

This story has been moved to the archive and comments have now been disabled.