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College to hold 162nd Commencement

May 1, 2013

MacMurray College will hold its 162nd Commencement ceremony 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, in Annie Merner Chapel. The speaker will be Kathryn Kimura Mlsna, an official with the Girl Scouts, who will talk about “The Promises.”

 Ms. Mlsna and Richard Palmer, MacMurray professor emeritus of philosophy and religion, will each be awarded a doctorate of humane letters by the College.

 Ms. Mlsna, chief of staff and chief strategy and legal officer with the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, has demonstrated throughout her career the values and service closely aligned with the ideals of MacMurray College.

 Dr. Palmer, who taught at MacMurray for 40 years, became the core of the College’s Humanities Core and won three awards for outstanding teaching at the College. One of MacMurray’s most prestigious scholars, Dr. Palmer’s seminal work on hermeneutics has been translated into six languages.

 (Note: See additional biographical information on Ms. Mlsna and Dr. Palmer below.)

 In addition to the Commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon, the baccalaureate service will be 10:30 a.m., with the Rev. Dr.  Howard Daughenbaugh presenting the sermon, “Learning and Teaching: a Lifetime Vocation.”

Among numerous other posts with the United Methodist Church, Dr. Daughenbaugh served as lead pastor of Grace UMC in Jacksonville and First UMC in Champaign; superintendent for the Sangamon River District in the Illinois Great Rivers Conference and administrative assistant to the Bishop of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, as well as the Conference’s representative on the MacMurray Board of Trustees.

 The weekend will have a number of  festivities for students and their parents, including:

  • A senior reception beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, May 3, during which the Class of 2013 veterans of the armed forces will be given special stoles to wear during the next day’s commencement ceremonies.
  • On Saturday, the Applebee Gallery in the Putnam/Springer Center on campus will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for viewing of a MacMurrary student art exhibit featuring the work of graduating senior Chelsea Verticchio, of Jacksonville.

 The Annie Merner Chapel is on the northeast corner of College and Clay streets in Jacksonville; the Putnam/Springer Center is on the southeast corner of State and Clay, both on the MacMurray College campus.


Biographical information for Kathryn Kimura Mlsna:

 Kathryn Kimura Mlsna is a distinguished attorney, corporate executive, philanthropist, and promoter of diversity and community service. Through her work at McDonald’s Corporation, Global Lead Management Consulting, and the Girl Scouts, she has demonstrated values and service closely aligned with the ideals of MacMurray College.

She earned a B.A. in sociology from Northwestern University and then a J.D. degree from Northwestern’s School of Law. Upon graduation in 1977, she spent three decades at McDonald’s Corporation in numerous roles including Managing Counsel and positions in Global Legal, Marketing, and Intellectual Property. She once brought her touch of community service to Jacksonville on our Founder’s Day, serving hamburgers and fries at the McDonald’s on Morton Avenue.

She then changed careers and for two years worked on diversity strategy development as assistant vice president at Global Lead Management Consulting. And then in 2010 she joined the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana as chief of staff and chief strategy and legal officer.

She has been generous in service to her alma mater, Northwestern University, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees, president of the alumni association, class representative, and in numerous other positions, including the Council of One Hundred, where she mentored upcoming and recent women alumni. And she has also been generous to MacMurray.

Throughout her career she has focused on community service and on education, empowerment, and advancement of diverse populations. She has consistently worked for the advancement and character development of youth, minorities, and women. Her professional career of fostering the development and education of youth is in strong alignment with MacMurray’s core values of knowledge and service. In congruence with these values, over the years she has given strong philanthropic support to MacMurray College.


Biographical information for Dr. Richard E. Palmer:

 Richard E. Palmer is a renowned scholar and distinguished teacher, a MacMurray professor emeritus and extraordinary. For decades he was at the heart of MacMurray’s curriculum. He has left a lasting impression of a true liberal arts education on generations of alumni.

Beginning with an associate in arts from Phoenix College in Arizona, he went on to earn three degrees at the University of Redlands in Redlands, CA: a bachelor’s in music history and theory; master’s and then doctorate in European comparative literature.

Upon completing his formal education in 1959 at the young age of 25, he came to MacMurray as assistant professor of literature. In 1970 he was promoted to full professor with a new field, philosophy and religion, and in 1993 he was named President Joseph R. Harker Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Religion. When he retired in 1999 he was awarded the title professor emeritus.

With Dr. Palmer’s background in music, literature, philosophy and religion, in the 1960s he became the core of MacMurray’s new Humanities core. Three times he won awards for outstanding teaching.

Meanwhile, he was making a proud name for himself beyond the MacMurray campus. He was awarded grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Fulbright program. These led to publication in 1969 by Northwestern University Press of his renowned book Hermeneutics: Interpretation Theory in Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger and Gadamer. It has since been translated into Spanish, Turkish, Farsi, and Chinese.

He has devoted his energy in recent years to editing and translating the philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer’s scholarship, publishing several books. These publications and his attendance at scholarly conferences around the world made him MacMurray’s most renowned scholar of the later twentieth century and indeed of the twenty-first.

With his devotion to his many students here at MacMurray and his proud success in scholarship worldwide, he is a shining example of the best MacMurray can offer.

For more information, contact:

Ted Roth, Director of Communications and Marketing
Work: 217-479-7027
Email: Send Email

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