Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College will host two in-person commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 8 in Hamilton Arena of the Jeanne Knoerle Sports and Recreation Center. This will be the first year that the College spotlights student speakers during the program.
The ceremonies will be separated into campus students at 10 a.m. and Woods Online and graduate students at 4 p.m. A Baccalaureate Liturgy will be held at 1 p.m. There will be a total of 281 graduates presented for the class of 2021.
Kathryn Kraft, a business administration major with equine science and health and wellness minors from Zionsville, Indiana, is a campus graduate who will be featured as the undergraduate commencement speaker. While at The Woods, she has been involved in the women’s basketball team, the hunt seat and western equestrian teams and has been a residential assistant.
Dylan Thomas, who is earning a degree in Master of Leadership Development, will speak to the Woods Online and master’s graduates. Thomas, from Edgerton, Wisconsin, also received his undergraduate degree from The Woods through the online program.
Previously, alumni addressed graduates at commencement. However, College officials thought a student speaker would bring more impact to the ceremonies. A committee of faculty and staff look for students who are relatable and are in good academic standing. A student can be nominated, or can nominate themselves, and then go through an audition process to be selected.