Wartburg College will recognize 286 graduates from the Class of 2017 during its 165th Commencement ceremony Sunday, May 28.

Commencement will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Hoover Fieldhouse & Track in the Wartburg-Waverly Sports & Wellness Center. It is free and open to the community.

The graduates include 37 international students from 24 countries. Twenty-five members of the Class of 2017 graduated in December.

Dorothy Bowen, a member of the Wartburg Class of 1953, will be presented with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Bowen, the great-granddaughter of Georg Grossmann, the college’s founder, is a retired nurse from southern California. She also taught adult education courses to nursing aides during the Watts race riots. In retirement, Bowen served on the Wartburg Board of Regents from 1997 to 2014.

Wartburg President Darrel Colson will give the charge to the class. The student speaker will be Calyn Thompson, a journalism and communication major from Norwalk and a Dean’s Honor Cord recipient with one of the top 40 cumulative GPAs in her class. She also was awarded the Department of Journalism & Communication’s coveted Maggie Garland Award, an annual honor given to an outstanding student media member.

Matt Finn, an English teacher and head varsity football coach at Osage High School, and Alicia Neutz, a Spanish teacher at Lakeville North High School in Minnesota, will be honored as outstanding high school teachers. Members of the Class of 2017 nominated them for significantly influencing their education.

The academic procession, led by faculty marshals Todd Reiher, professor of psychology, and Christine DeVries, professor of chemistry, will begin the Commencement ceremony.

International students bearing the flags of their countries, emeriti faculty, current faculty members, members of the Class of 1967, the graduating class and platform party will join the procession.

Commencement Weekend events that are free and open to the public include:
  • Senior Art Exhibit — 9 a.m.-7 p.m., daily, Waldemar A. Schmidt Art Gallery, Bachman Fine Arts Center.
  • May Term Band Concert — 6:30 p.m., Saturday, May 27, Campus Mall (rain location Neumann Auditorium).
  • Baccalaureate — The Rev. Ramona Bouzard, dean of the chapel, will deliver the message, Sunday, May 28, 10 a.m., Neumann Auditorium.
  • Pre-Commencement Concert — May Term Band, Sunday, May 28, 1 p.m. Hoover Fieldhouse & Track.