It was a perfect spring day at York College campus on Saturday as over 80 students graduated during the morning’s commencement ceremony. Held in the Campbell Student Activity Center, the seats and bleachers were filled with proud parents, excited family members, and eager graduates ready to receive their degrees.

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Dr. Nathan Mellor, CEO of C3 Brands and President of Strata Leadership, gave the commencement address. Dr. Mellor has consulted, trained, and lectured throughout America and abroad on topics related to character and leadership. His clients include corporations and non-profits from across the business spectrum. In pursuit of education, humanitarian, and religious interests he has studied or taught in Australia, Belize, China, England, Guyana, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Russia, and Rwanda. Dr. Mellor has over 15 years experience teaching undergraduate and graduate courses at a number of colleges and universities. He is currently an adjunct professor at York College in the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program.

Mellor’s moving convocation address centered on stories of three men he admires: his father, YC President Steve Eckman, and Ted Roosevelt. Mellor talked about servant leadership and encouraged students to look for ways to impact the world around them by taking the lowly position and being willing to serve.
After Mellor’s address, several awards and honors were presented.

The Dale R. Larsen Teacher Award is given annually to a full-time faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to York College. This year, the award was presented to Christi Lones, assistant professor of history. Lones has taught at York College since 2008. In April she was recognized with the Faculty Member of the Year Award, an honor selected by students.

The Dean’s Award is presented annually to one graduating senior. The recipient is selected by the faculty, based on scholarship, leadership, and maturity factors. The 2017 award went to Delaney Woods, an elementary education major from York, Nebraska. Woods has impacted the campus in numerous ways since she arrived as a freshman. She has been a leader in campus ministries, on the volleyball team, in choir and other clubs and activities. She is an excellent student who is dedicated to serving. This summer she will lead a group of her peers on a mission trip to Ecuador.

The ceremony continued as graduates lined up to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas from President Eckman with a smile, a handshake, and frequently, a hug. Master’s, bachelor’s, and associate’s degrees were awarded during the ceremony.
The York College Concert Choir, conducted by Dr. Clark Roush, closed out the ceremony by performing “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners” and “How Beautiful on the Mountains” before leading the audience in the singing of the York College Alma Mater.

2017 Graduates
Bachelor's Degree: Josiah Ahart**, Jeff Albers, Carlos Arana, Jason Arreola, Bryan Ayala, Kaylee Becker***, Dalton Bergstrom, Sami Berry, Carlie Bonderer, Kevin Brandenberg, Michael Brumbaugh, Cameron Buckley, Jose Bueno, MaKenzie Bush*, Jeffrey Cathey, Matthew Cimmino, Cameron Coleman, Johnny Cooksey Jr., Robert Covarrubias, Devaunta Cuba, Jarrell Cunningham*, Morgan Derengowski, Alyssa Didier**, Amanda Diedrich, DJ Drews***, Parker Duensing, Zanoria Echols**, Jeremy Eckman, Devaun Evans, Halie Ewing***, Kacey Fatuch, Kaylen Fike***, Bethany Ford**, Holly Garrett*, Bre Goben, Darrien Gomez**, Nolan Henningson***, Amelia Hinnergardt, Tre' Howe, Justin Hukill*, Ashlee Ivey*, Jessica Keys***, Brad Lindsley, Saia Lotulelei, Courtney Lovelace***, Elizabeth Maher*, Oscar Marin, PJ Matha**, Nick McClure-Carney, John Mead, Morgan Moore, Ryan Murphy, Caitlin Nipe, Ana Osborne**, Natalie Ostrander***, Danielle Palensky, Brittany Pascal, Craig Peterson, Caleb Pope, Brittany Rayls, Renee Rayls, Laura Reed*, Manuel Rivera, Vanessa Rodriguez, Troy Rowen, Anthony Santo, Caleb Stewart, Patty Sylvester, Joseph Terazon, Luther Thomas Jr., Soren Tobey, Joseph Ventry, Ariel Warrior*, Delaney Woods***.

*Cum Laude - GPA of 3.40 or higher
**Magna Cum Laude - GPA of 3.60 or higher
***Summa Cum Laude - GPA of 3.85 or higher

M.A. in Education: Ramona Greene, Siphol Ly, Thea Moser, Toni Sabo.

Associate’s Degree: Moses Aken, Jose Ceron-Huerta, Jennifer Geier, Brinna Horvath, Collette Kretz, Leiah Reichel, Jeanne Simons.