Iowa Wesleyan University to celebrate in-person Commencement on May 1 

Mount Pleasant, IA – April 27, 2021 — Iowa Wesleyan University will host its May Commencement honoring graduates on Saturday, May 1. Two ceremonies are being planned at 1 pm and 3 pm, split between academic programs to provide the opportunity to host graduation in person. The ceremonies will honor both 2020 and 2021 graduates and will be held in the Howe Student Activity Center in Ruble Arena.

On Friday, April 30, Iowa Wesleyan will host the annual Nursing Pinning Ceremony at 7 pm in the University Chapel. This year the University Baccalaureate will be pre-recorded. This service will be showcased on the IW website and social media pages at 10:30 am on May 1.

Christine Plunkett, President of Iowa Wesleyan, will preside over Commencement and present the President’s Award to an outstanding Iowa Wesleyan graduate. The Chadwick Teacher of the Year award recipient will also be announced, the most prestigious honor for teaching at Iowa Wesleyan.  There will also be music by the IW Choir as well as a special video tribute to the graduating class. 

Presenting the commencement address is Michael Patten, M.A., General Manager for the Walmart Distribution Center in Mount Pleasant. Patten is an energetic leader, a passionate life-long learner, and will focus his message around perseverance.  He began his Walmart career in 2004, working as an investigator in the Global Security Division. In 2007, he joined Logistics as a Regional Senior Manager in Asset Protection, supporting nine Distribution Centers in Texas. In 2010, he was promoted to Senior Director of Compliance, Safety, and Asset Protection supporting sixty-two Distribution Centers across the country. In 2015, Michael was named the General Manager for the eCommerce Fulfillment Center in Chino, CA. In this role, he led the start-up of the 1.2 million square foot Dot Com fulfillment center, which now employs over 4,000 associates responsible for shipping items direct to customers.

University Provost Dr. DeWayne Frazier said, “We welcome one of Mount Pleasant’s finest to speak to our graduates. Michael Patten’s energy and enthusiasm will be motivational for our graduates given the overwhelming challenges they endured to get to this important day.  Michael will share stories that not only inspirational but empowering.”

The Commencement ceremony is not open to the public as the graduates are limited in the number of tickets to comply with the University protocols. However, the Chapel will hold an overflow area where the ceremony will be live-streamed on campus. Seating in the Chapel is first come, first served. Doors will open in the Chapel for seating at noon for the 1 pm ceremony and at 2 pm for the 3 pm ceremony. 

The general public is invited to listen live on KILJ Radio at or view Commencement live at: 

Commencement May 1, 2021 1:00 pm – YouTube

Commencement May 1, 2021 3:00 pm – YouTube