364 Degrees Conferred at Spring 2024 Ceremony

University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) conferred 364 diplomas to undergraduate, adult undergraduate, and graduate students in recognition of their hard work to complete their degree programs. The ceremony was held at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at the John Lord and Beverly Knight Performance Hall. 

These graduates include 293 bachelor’s, 13 master’s, and 51 associate of arts degrees as well as 7 graduate certificates. Of the diplomas awarded, Northwestern conferred the majority of bachelor’s degrees to those in the School of Business; the Dept of Psychology, Criminal Justice, & Law Enforcement; the Dept of Biology & Biochemistry; the School of Nursing; and the School of Theology & Ministry.  

The ceremony included remarks from Dr. Margaret A. Diddams, Member of the Board of Trustees, and President Corbin Hoornbeek. Attendees heard statements from faculty, graduates, and staff, and enjoy musical movements led by the Department of Music & Theatre. 

The address was given by 2007 graduate Betty Mertens, author and co-founder of Ella’s Umbrella. Betty graduated first from UNW with a bachelor’s degree in communications and later with a Master of Organizational Leadership. She started Ella’s Umbrella after her daughter passed away due to an undiagnosed genetic heart defect. The non-profit organization seeks to provide knowledge, resources and tools that will help save other children’s lives and bring hope and healing to their families by supporting pediatric heart research and heart technology advancements. 

Her address included advice for the graduates as they enter life outside of college. She used her story to encourage the students that God often uses the mundane and unexpected to prepare us for the extraordinary. 

She encouraged students  to make plans but hold them with open hands, trusting God with everything they do, to look for the good in what you have while it is in front of you, because everything on this side of eternity is temporary, and even circumstances you would never choose can provide a beautiful view. Nothing is too broken to be redeemed by God.  

Recordings of the Commencement ceremony can be found here


University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) is a nondenominational Christian university in St. Paul, Minn. With a biblical worldview integrated into all programs, UNW provides a unique educational experience for students who want to combine faith and education. Northwestern offers more than 50 areas of study, including seven master’s degrees, and online and early college programs. Northwestern Media, a ministry of the university, owns and operates 29 Christian radio stations throughout the Midwest with a total listenership of more than 2 million listeners.