Three students in the Indiana Wesleyan University class of 2012 were honored as valedictorians during the first of three spring graduation ceremonies on Saturday (April 28) at the Chapel Auditorium.
The valedictorians were David Thomas Collins, a pre-medicine/biology major from Marion, Indiana; Santiago Jaramillo, a business administration/marketing major from Weston, Florida; and Linnea Danielle Manheim, a social studies major from Springfield, Illinois. Each of the valedictorians had perfect 4.0 grade-point averages.
Collins' older brother, Thomas Joseph Collins, also was one of two valedictorians of the IWU class of 2011. He majored in computer software engineering.
Two IWU faculty members received special recognition from David Wright, Provost and Chief Academic Officer. Pam Harrison, professor of Nursing, received the Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award; and Jerry Pattengale, assistant provost for Public Engagement, received the World Changing Faculty Award.
Dr. Rusty Hawkins, a post-doctoral fellow of John Wesley Honors College, was named Professor of the Year. Aaron Morrison, a political science/pre-law and economics major from Crawfordsville, Indiana, was named Senior of the Year. IWU Student Government Association presents both of those awards.
About 2,050 IWU graduates received diplomas in three ceremonies on Saturday. Todd Voss, who was a vice president at IWU for 22 years, was the speaker.
Voss became president of Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina in July 2011. Indiana Wesleyan and Southern Wesleyan are sister universities of The Wesleyan Church.
Voss received an Honorary Doctor of Education Leadership degree during the first graduation ceremony on Saturday.
About 600 of the spring graduates earned degrees through traditional classes on IWU's residential campus in Marion. The other graduate took classes either online or at IWU education centers and other sites in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.
Rev. Kevin Myers, a 1982 IWU graduate, spoke at a baccalaureate service on Friday night. He is the pastor of 12Stone Church, near Atlanta, Georgia, which is the largest congregation in The Wesleyan Church.
Myers is a member of the IWU Board of Trustees and also serves on the board of Wesley Seminary at IWU.
IWU also has multiple graduations in August and December.