Rev. Adam Hamilton to speak at Commencement

Rev. Adam Hamilton, founder and pastor of the nation’s largest United Methodist church, will be the main speaker at the 2017 William Jewell Commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, in the Mabee Center for Physical Education on the campus in Liberty, Mo.

As part of Jewell’s commencement traditions, graduates will make the ceremonial last walk around the Quad behind bagpipers and a color guard at about 12:30 p.m. The student speaker, chosen by the senior class, will be Trevor Nicks, biochemistry and Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry major.

Hamilton founded the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., with his wife and two daughters, and today the church boasts more than 20,000 members. He has written 22 books and received numerous honors, including the Denman Award in Evangelism, the United Methodist Reporter’s 2012 United Methodist Person of the Year and the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award.

Also part of the ceremony, honorary doctorates will be given to:

  • Cecelia McBride Robinson, Jewell professor emerita of English, who has championed cultural awareness and racial diversity and understanding in and out of the classroom. She has been chair of the Northland Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration for more than 30 years, and serves as historian and gallery curator for the Clay County African American Legacy Inc. for Garrison School Cultural Center.
  • Maurice Watson, chair of Husch Blackwell law firm in Kansas City, who focuses his legal practice on representing educational institutions and education boards. As a member of the firm’s Healthcare, Life Sciences and Education Industry team, he holds leadership positions on several foundations and children’s hospital boards, advocating for children’s health. He holds both a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctorate from Harvard University.

Earlier in the day, Jewell will host a baccalaureate service at 9 a.m. on May 13 in John Gano Memorial Chapel on campus. The baccalaureate speaker will be Rev. Jessica Elsbury Henks, a 2005 Jewell alumna. She is the interim pastor at the First Baptist Church in Garnett, Kan. She had previously served eight years as the solo pastor of the First Baptist Church in Kankakee, Ill.

At 10:30 a.m., candidates for the Master of Science in Education degree will take part in a hooding ceremony in Gano Chapel.

There will also be a nursing pinning ceremony at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 12, at the Mabee Center for graduating nursing students.

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Cara Dahlor
Director of Communication