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University of Indianapolis Commencement honors Class of 2018

INDIANAPOLIS – More than 1,600 graduates received degrees from the University of Indianapolis at Saturday’s Commencement ceremony, which also served to highlight the impact of the institution’s students, alumni and faculty across the state and world.

The University recognized Rev. Rob Fuquay, senior pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, and 16-time Grammy Award winner Béla Fleck, with honorary degrees. Rev. Fuquay delivered the Commencement address to graduates and Fleck performed on the banjo in his signature improvisational style.

“Commencement is designed to celebrate and recognize the hard work at improving lives and enhancing communities,” said University President Robert L. Manuel. “Both of these recipients have spent their careers carving new paths and inspiring others with their craft.”

President Manuel highlighted the community impact of the University’s service-learning initiatives and praised graduates for their commitment to those programs. In keeping with the University’s motto, “Education for Service,” Rev. Fuquay encouraged graduates to view their academic advancement as a springboard for giving back.

“A degree is not just for us to have a happier or more successful life. It’s about ‘what difference are we going to make in the world?’” Rev. Fuquay said.

Levi Mielke, assistant professor of chemistry in the Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences, received the 2018 Teacher of the Year Award, which honors a faculty member who has demonstrated a distinguished record of excellence and impact on student learning.

Three students were honored with the I. Lynd Esch Award, which is given each year to students with the highest scholarly achievement during their University of Indianapolis career. The award, named for a former president of the University, recognizes persistence, consistency, and dedication to academic excellence. The 2018 recipients are Annika Haynes (finance), Julie Larson (exercise science and pre-occupational therapy) and Brett Ortman (chemistry and pre-occupational therapy).

The total number of University of Indianapolis graduates for May 2018 stands at 1,650 students from 21 countries, with 1,084 undergraduates, 566 graduate and doctoral students, including 100 graduates at international partner sites.

UIndy 2018 Commencement by the numbers:

  • 1,084 undergraduates
  • 566 master’s and doctoral candidates
  • 34 states and 21 nations represented
  • 1,550 graduates from home campus
  • 100 graduates at UIndy’s international partner sites
  • Total: 1,650 graduates

About the University of Indianapolis
The University of Indianapolis, founded in 1902, is a private, liberal arts university located just a few minutes from downtown Indianapolis. The University is ranked among the top Midwest Universities by the U.S. News and World Report, with a diverse enrollment of more than 5,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students. The University offers a wide variety of study areas, including 109 undergraduate degrees, more than 37 master’s degree programs and six doctoral programs. More occupational therapists, physical therapists and clinical psychologists graduate from the University each year than any other state institution. With strong programs also in engineering, business, and education, the University of Indianapolis impacts its community by living its motto, “Education for Service.”