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Kansas Wesleyan University

Thomas Jefferson once said that delay is preferable to error. With that mindset at the forefront and after a three-month postponement, Kansas Wesleyan University held its 2020 Commencement ceremony on Saturday, August 15 at the Graves Family Sports Complex. The ceremony had been delayed since May due to COVID-19, but KWU was able to provide for social distancing and other precautions, including temperature checks and required face coverings, that enabled an in-person event to take place. 

“We are thrilled that we were able to host an in-person commencement,” said Dr. Matt Thompson, KWU president and CEO. “I’m appreciative of how our entire campus community came together to make this event safe and exceptional for our graduates and their families. It was truly a special experience.”

Approximately 100 graduates in the class of 190-plus, plus a strictly limited number of guests, returned to Salina to hear Michael Gonzales ’84, a member of the Board of Trustees and longtime Department of Agriculture executive, provide the commencement address. Gonzales spoke about the integration of faith into future planning, and the importance of establishing clearly defined goals in order to find a path forward. 

Award winners announced at the ceremony included Holly Holt (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) and Gabe Serrano (Newton, Kan.) who earned the Fran Jabara Leadership Awards, an honor based on entrepreneurial traits, as well as leadership, particularly in business creation. Stephen Loader, a Communications major from Salina, earned the University Medallion, given to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average. 

To view the KWU commencement ceremony in its entirety, please visit