University Awards First Doctoral Degrees at Fall Commencement Ceremony

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Low Annie Shocket

The Student Excellence and Commitment to Service Award went to Annie Shocket from Geismar, Louisiana, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

Low Fr Josh

The commencement keynote speaker was Father Joshua Johnson, Pastor at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in St. Amant, Louisiana.

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, formerly Our Lady of the Lake College, awarded the first doctoral degrees in the University’s 94-year history during the fall commencement exercises held on Friday, December 15 at the Raising Cane’s River Center.

The 22 recipients of the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nurse Anesthesia (DNP-NA) degree were among the 125 undergraduate and graduate degrees conferred during the ceremony.

The expansion of doctoral level programs, like the DNP-NA, is one of the main factors that prompted the University’s recent name change.

The DNP-NA program enrolled its first cohort in the spring of 2015, and is designed to prepare the baccalaureate registered nurse for the highest level of advanced nursing practice with a specialization in nurse anesthesia. The graduates of the program will be prepared to meet state, regional and national needs as doctorally-prepared advanced practice nurses in leadership positions in health-related organizations to improve systems of care, patient outcomes, and quality of care.

The commencement keynote speaker was Father Joshua Johnson, a priest for the Diocese of Baton Rouge and currently the Pastor at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in St. Amant, Louisiana. Prior to his ordination to the priesthood, he attended Southern University in Baton Rouge and graduated from St. Joseph’s Seminary College and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. He has spoken at conferences across the nation and is currently writing his first book on healing the racial divide in the United States through the witness of Jesus Christ.

Annie Shocket, a Student Ambassador and student leader from Geismar, Louisiana, was recognized at commencement with the Student Excellence and Commitment to Service Award. This award distinguishes a graduating student who exemplifies the mission of our institution and who has shown a strong commitment to scholarship, leadership, and service.

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