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Kansas Wesleyan University

More than 150 members of the class of 2021, together with their families and friends, gathered Saturday for Kansas Wesleyan University’s 2021 commencement ceremony at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center.

“Today was a wonderful recognition of the class of 2021 and all it has accomplished,” said Dr. Matt Thompson, KWU President. “These individuals will go in to Nursing, Education, Theatre, Music, Law and Business, among many other fields. They have contributed great things to the vibrancy and growth of our campus and the Salina community, and we will be forever thankful for that.”

Montric Santee ’12 of BOK Financial in Dallas, Texas was the commencement speaker, and delivered stirring, personally-based remarks on how failure can lead to success.

Award winners announced included Autumn Colgin (Canton, Kan.) and Dillon Harriger (Kearney, Neb.) who earned the Fran Jabara Leadership Awards, an honor based on entrepreneurial traits and leadership, particularly in business creation.

Kelsey Ripperger, a senior from Hastings, Neb., earned the University Medallion, given to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average.

Face coverings were required during the event and graduates were limited to 10 guests apiece, in recognition of concerns surrounding COVID-19. In addition, members of the Class of 2020 were able to participate in this year’s proceedings if they were unable to attend last August’s delayed ceremony.

The members of KWU Nursing’s class of 2021, meanwhile, received their pins in a special ceremony Friday evening in Mabee Arena.

To view the KWU commencement ceremony and Nursing pinning in their entirety, please visit