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Spring Graduation 2018
Save the Date for Commencement Weekend 2018
Salute to Graduates
Thursday, April 5
Honors Dinner in Muir Gymnasium
6 p.m. Friday, May 11
11 a.m. Saturday, May 12 at University United Methodist Church
Class of 2018 Photo
Noon Saturday, May 12 in front of Pioneer Hall
3 p.m. Saturday, May 12 in Mabee Arena
4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12 in Muir Gymnasium
2018 Commencement Speaker
Nicholas ‘Nick’ Petron ’68 is professor and chair of the Department of Theatre at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY.
Petron was born and raised in the Chelsea neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan, New York City, not far from Greenwich Village. He first encountered ritual and ceremonial presentation while serving as a church altar boy. His passion for performing was spurred by a Saturday acting class at the Chelsea neighborhood’s Hudson Guild.
At Kansas Wesleyan University, Petron majored in Speech and Theatre and was named to “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges.” The 1968 KWU Coyote Yearbook described him as “a thespian at heart, a politician by avocation, and a journalist because he has a lot to say.”
During his four years at Kansas Wesleyan, he served as president of the Fine Arts Club, president of Pi Sigma Upsilon social and service activities fraternity, and president of the KWU chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society. He wrote a column for the Advance student newspaper and was involved in intramurals, the International Fellowship of Christians, and Salina Community Theatre.
Petron received his professional acting Equity Card at age 19 playing the Prince in “The King and I” in summer stock in New Jersey. He followed that role with 12 years of stage work. As a KWU senior, Petron directed “The Fantastics,” the first student-directed and student-produced musical to be performed at the university.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from KWU, Petron went back to New York on for his M.A. at Adelphi University. Petron is a member of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). He has worked in feature films with Al Pacino, John Cusack, Tim Matheson and Kate Capshaw. Petron’s TV commercial credits include spots for Ponderosa Steak House, Eagle Brand snacks and more. For the Children’s Television Workshop, producers of the classic “Sesame Street,” he was the voice for “Y,” “Up and Down” and “Pizza.” He won an Ace Award for radio commercial direction. Petron has directed stage productions of “Uncle Vanya,” “Holy Ghosts,” “The Rimers of Eldridge,” “Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean,” “Moonchildren,” “Steel Magnolias,” “subUrbia,” and “Uncommon Women and Others.”
During his tenure at Adelphi University, he has had the pleasure of teaching and working with such luminaries as Jonathan Larson (creator of “Rent”) and Dr. Jacques Burdick (teacher at the Yale School of Drama and founder of the B.F.A. Acting and Technical Design program at Adelphi).