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Students and alumni of doctoral program celebrate accomplishments

Posted: Jul 27, 2017

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"I enjoy seeing Olivet Nazarene University alumni and current students share about their common experience of earning the Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership degree, Olivet’s highest degree.” — Dr. Houston Thompson, program director and associate vice president for academic affairs

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“I looked at three different doctoral programs before selecting Olivet Nazarene University,” says Veronica Abney, a church administrator from Chicago and current doctoral degree candidate. “I chose Olivet’s program because I would complete my coursework and dissertation simultaneously. I’m working hard, but I appreciate applying what I’m learning directly and immediately to my dissertation work.”

Many students in and alumni of Olivet’s Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership (Ed.D.) program echo Veronica’s endorsement. On July 14, 2017, they gathered for a special reception and dinner to catch up with members of their cohorts and celebrate their accomplishments.

“Being with this group is always an incredible experience,” says Dr. Houston Thompson, program director and associate vice president for academic affairs. “This gathering has majestic and celebratory overtones that speak directly to the uniqueness and quality of the Ed.D. program. I enjoy seeing alumni and current students share about their common experience of earning Olivet’s highest degree.”

Special recognitions, introductions, presentations about accomplishments and, of course, time to share memories highlighted the evening. John Mongerson, executive director of development and the ONU Foundation, and Mr. Erinn Proehl, director of alumni and university relations, congratulated the group on their commitment to the importance of education.

“No one in this room is a stranger to effort and commitment,” Proehl told the group. “You are truly amazing. Wherever you go, I know you will take Olivet with you.”

Mongerson underscored the group’s efforts in endowing the Ethical Leadership Scholarship to benefit Olivet undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need and a strong GPA. He challenged the group to continue supporting this scholarship and make it a University tradition.

“Several alumni shared with me that Olivet’s academics and support are excellent,” Mongerson says. “But they were quick to add that the Ed.D. program allowed them to discover their real calling in life. Earning this degree set their course for what they could aim to accomplish.”

The first Ed.D. cohort — known as the Centennial Cohort in honor of Olivet’s 100-year milestone celebration — graduated in 2010. Subsequently, one cohort graduated each year through 2015; two cohorts in 2016; and three cohorts in 2017. Today, 155 alumni hold the University’s Ed.D. degree and are serving in an array of professional roles across the U.S.

To learn more about Olivet’s advanced degree programs, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.



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Acres that comprise Olivet's beautiful, park-like campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois