University President Laurie Joyner led the Commencement celebration, welcoming the more than 425 members of the Class of 2015 into the prestigious ranks of Wittenberg alumni. She also recognized three distinguished guests, including the 2015 Commencement speaker, American Hospital Association Regional Executive Kim Byas ‘74, and nationally recognized philanthropist and artist Ann Ziff ‘68. Harry Egger, a Springfield business leader and member of the Wittenberg Board of Directors from 1996-2002, received honors posthumously.
A total of 121 graduates earned Latin honors in recognition of their exceptional academic pursuits. 56 of them were designated cum laude (3.5-3.69 grade point average), 20 graduated magna cum laude (3.7-3.79) and 45 graduated summa cum laude (3.8-4.0), including two students who hold perfect 4.0 grade point averages: Garrhett Via and Taylor Weisheit.
Wittenberg’s commencement address was delivered by Byas, who reflected on the value of acknowledging relationships in one’s own success.
“Ask yourselves how you got here today. The primary and universal response is relationships,” Byas said. “It is important to acknowledge and be thankful for the transformational power of relationships. Adopt a daily method that reminds you that you are living in relationships with others, and that those relationships are sacred.”