UD to Celebrate 166th Commencement

May 7, 2018

DUBUQUE, Iowa –The University of Dubuque will celebrate the accomplishments of its undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students at its 166th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 19.

University Commencement Events

The University Baccalaureate Service will be held Friday, May 18, at 5:00 p.m. in Heritage Center’s John and Alice Butler Hall.

The University Commencement Ceremony will be held Saturday, May 19, at 1:00 p.m. in the Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center. Over 400 students are eligible to participate in the ceremony, including 308 undergraduate and 96 graduate students. Barbara Smeltzer (C’66), undergraduate student resources advisor and campus mom, will deliver the commencement address, titled “Reflections.”

Smeltzer graduated from UD with a bachelor’s degree in English and elementary education. She received her master’s degree in reading and earned an endorsement in elementary school administration from Clarke University. Smeltzer taught in the Dubuque Community School District for over 30 years. During that time, she served two consecutive terms on the Iowa Professional Teaching Practices Commission and was the first woman to chair the commission.

Smeltzer joined UD’s Department of Teacher Education as a volunteer in 1997. She served as coordinator of field placement and became an adjunct professor and director of student teaching. In 2000, Smeltzer transitioned to the Office of Student Life and was appointed the undergraduate student resources advisor. She is affectionately known as the Campus Mom.

Seminary Commencement Events

The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary Baccalaureate Service will be held Friday, May 18, at 1:30 p.m. in Blades Chapel. Rev. Beth McCaw, DMin, associate professor of ministry and seminary pastor to students, will deliver the sermon, titled “Hanging out with Jesus.”

The UDTS Commencement Ceremony will be held Saturday, May 19, at 9:30 a.m. in Butler Hall. Nineteen students will receive degrees and nine students will earn certificates. Rev. Elmer M. Colyer (MDiv’85), PhD, professor of systematic theology, Stanley Professor of Wesley Studies, and director of the United Methodist Studies Program at UDTS, will deliver the commencement address, titled “The Impossibility of Ministry.”

Colyer earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, a master of divinity from UDTS, and a doctor of philosophy from Boston College-Andover Newton. An ordained elder in the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church, Colyer has served numerous United Methodist churches in New England, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois over the past 37 years. He has served UDTS since 1993.