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SMWC Selects Student Commencement Speakers for Class of 2024

News | 03.27.2024

As an institutional tradition since 2021, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) has selected and announced this year’s Student Commencement Speakers. The College will hold two commencement ceremonies, one for the campus program and the other to honor Woods Online and graduate students.

This year’s speakers are Polet Horsley and Elizabeth Hein ’21, ‘22G, ’23G.

Polet Horsley

Polet Horsley (Horton) will earn her degrees in nursing and kinesiology and speak during the campus ceremony. During her time at SMWC, Horsley was a member of the Presidential Corps and volunteered for several campus events like Woods Giving Day and SMWC’s Foundation Day of Service. Originally from Terre Haute, Polet kept ties within the Terre Haute community by volunteering with the Clay County Food Pantry, Knots of Love Blankets and Clothe a Child. She is a first-generation college student. After graduation, she plans to continue her professional career as a registered nurse (RN) at Union Health in the Surgical Oncology unit.

Elizabeth Hein ’21, ‘22G, ’23G

Hein will earn her master’s degree in business administration, having earned a master’s degree in healthcare administration and master’s degree in leadership development over the previous two years. Hein prides herself in being a leader in all aspects of her life. As a devoted mom and full-time student, Hein serves as a Human Resources Manager for Republic Services. In earning her three master’s degrees, Hein intends to promote a collaborative, engaged environment where everyone feels welcomed and valued.

Commencement student speaker candidates must be nominated. Nominations can be submitted by students, staff or faculty. All candidates for the Commencement Speaker position must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and must go through an interview process with a selection committee. Information for the SMWC Commencement ceremonies will be shared at a later date.

Two commencement ceremonies will take place on May 11, 2024, in the Jeanne Knoerle Sports and Recreation Center on the SMWC campus. Ceremonies will be at 10 a.m. for the campus program and 3 p.m. for the Woods Online and graduate programs.