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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

Don’t ever stop learning

Commencement speaker says graduation is not the end of learning experience for IW grads
Dec 08, 2017
Photo by: Karyn Spory The best is yet to come for the 20 students who graduated from Iowa Wesleyan on Thursday, Dec. 7.

By Karyn Spory, Mt. Pleasant News


Although they were moments away from becoming Iowa Wesleyan alumni, and their time in the classroom would be over, Dr. Cheyrl Newland hoped the 20 IW graduates sitting before her would never stop learning.

“We used to think that your intelligence was set, that you had an IQ and an intelligence quotient and that was the limit of what you could do. We know that’s not true,” the Chadwick Teacher of the Year said during the winter commencement ceremony Thursday afternoon. “Your brain never stops learning.”

Newland told the graduates that life was an educational journey and they should never feel like they’ve met their destination. “I don’t want you to ever stop learning new things. Not just in your personal life, but also in your professional.”

Newland also told the graduates to remember their support group, the ones sitting behind them during the ceremony. “You’ve not had an easy time getting to this point. You, your support group, your family, your friends, you have all sacrificed. You’ve put in late nights; you’ve struggled past days when you wanted to give up. Remember that group,” she said. “The family, friends, faculty and staff who have pushed and encouraged you. That’s your rearview mirror. Keep glancing back when you see the scene in front of you and you’re a little bit afraid.”

Lastly, Newland reminded the graduates to put their devices down every once in a while.

Before conferring degrees, University President Dr. Steven Titus said he was excited to celebrate the graduates. And celebrate they did. Once the degrees had been awarded, and the school song sung by the university’s musical group, Primae Voces, present faculty lined the hallway, cheering as the newly minted alumni walked past them.

“This feels awesome,” said graduate Marisol Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said she was extreamly proud, not only to graduate, but to do it in three-and-a-half years. “I feel very accomplished, especially with (switching majors) from nursing to psychology.”

Gonzalez’s family was present, cheering her on and she said seeing her parent’s smiling faces made all the hard work worth it.

For Matt Klundt, this day felt like a long time coming. “I’ve been here for four-and-a-half years and it just feels great,” he said.

Klundt said he had an amazing experience at IW. One that is not ending as he will become the coordinator for student engagement at the university.

Klundt said he initially wanted to come to Wesleyan because it felt like home. And for him, it has become home.

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