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The University of Dubuque to Hold Spring Commencement Ceremonies

By University Relations Staff

DUBUQUE, Iowa - This spring, the University of Dubuque will recognize and celebrate the academic accomplishments of undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students with two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, April 27, 2024.

The University of Dubuque Spring Commencement will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. Sixty-eight graduate students and 261 undergraduate students are eligible to participate in the ceremony.

Rev. Jeffrey F. Bullock, PhD, president of the University of Dubuque, will deliver the commencement address titled, "For I Know the Plans I Have For You. Jeremiah 1:10-14."

Bullock joined the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in 1996 as dean of the seminary and vice president of the University of Dubuque. He holds the faculty position of professor of hermeneutics and homiletics. In February 1998, Bullock was selected to become the 11th president of UD, and UDTS, and assumed office on June 1, 1998. During Bullock's presidency, UD underwent what was known as The Plan for Transformation, which resulted in the downsizing of academic programs to focus on fewer majors with a stronger educational exposure for students. Since the Plan for Transformation, the University's enrollment has grown from 600 to around 2,000 and its endowment has increased from $15 million to nearly $300 million. In addition, over $325 million has been invested in new and renovated campus infrastructure.

Bullock's educational background includes a bachelor of arts from Seattle Pacific University, a master of divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and a master of arts and doctor of philosophy in speech communication from the University of Washington. He is involved in numerous community boards as well as academic and ecclesial organizations, including A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co, the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, Iowa College Foundation, Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Committee on Theological Education, and the American Rivers Athletic Conference.

As a Presbyterian minister, Bullock has served congregations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in Seattle, Washington. He has been an active blogger on the topic of leadership, and he has published numerous articles and lectures. His book, Preaching with a Cupped Ear: Hans-Georg Gadamer's Philosophical Hermeneutics as Post-Modern Wor[l]d, was published in 1998.

Last spring, Bullock initiated the orderly process of stepping away from the presidency. He has been asked to serve in an of counsel capacity for the University to aid in the on-boarding of the new president.

Bullock and his wife, Dana, have three sons, Noah (C'21), Luke (C'23), and Seth.

The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary Commencement will be held at 9:30 a.m. in John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center. Doors will open at 9:00 a.m. Twenty-eight seminary students are eligible to participate in the ceremony, with 24 earning degrees and four earning certificates.

Mark D. Ward, PhD, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at the University of Dubuque, will deliver the commencement address titled, "Groaning Toward Graduation."

Ward oversees all aspects of more than 45 academic programs offered at the undergraduate and graduate level. He is also responsible for the faculty, the curriculum, and the support services of the Charles C. Myers Library, Office of the Registrar, and Academic Success Center.

A native of central Iowa, Ward holds a bachelor of arts in economics and business from Calvin University, a master of business administration from the University of Denver, and a doctor of philosophy in business from the University of Illinois in Chicago. After a short career in human resource management, he spent several years on the faculty and in academic administration at Trinity Christian College. Ward has published in the areas of work values/work beliefs and provided consulting services to various non-profit organizations on mission development and strategic planning.

Since arriving at UD in fall 2010, Ward joined a dedicated faculty and staff in strengthening and growing the learning opportunities at UD with the goal of empowering faculty, staff, and students to contribute to the world as people of competence, character, and conviction. New undergraduate and graduate programs have been developed and many other programs enjoy increased external recognition for their excellence in academic and career preparation.

In 2015, Ward assumed responsibility for shepherding UDTS through the implementation of the New Day Dawning, a plan developed by trustees and faculty for transforming theological education. Since that time, faculty and staff have positioned the seminary to meet emerging needs of the church, and UDTS stands as one of the few seminaries in the country experiencing growth.

Ward is married to Annalee Ward, director of the Wendt Character Initiative. This summer, they will be transitioning to new avenues of service as they retire from UD. The Wards have two married children and five grandchildren.

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