Northwestern College to award 363 degrees during May 13 commencement ceremony

Three graduates pose for a photograph with diplomasNorthwestern College will award degrees to 363 students during its annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13. Master of Education degrees will be presented to 129 students; another 217 will receive Bachelor of Arts degrees; and 17, Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.

An additional seven students will receive certificates of completion as graduates of the Northwestern NEXT program, a two-year campus life and learning experience for 18- to 22-year-olds with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Northwestern will also award an honorary doctorate to Ronald N. Langston, a Northwestern alumnus who has distinguished himself in a career that has spanned the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Commencement will begin at 10 a.m. in the Rowenhorst Student Center, with Langston delivering the commencement address. The baccalaureate service will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, in Christ Chapel. Mark DeYounge, dean of Christian formation, will deliver the homily.

Ronald N. LangstonLangston is a strategic thinker, team leader and entrepreneur whose faith has led him to become a transformational change agent. As the president and chief executive officer of FUELIowa, he leads an organization that represents more than 500 retail facilities in the state. He is also the owner of Langston Global Enterprises, a consulting firm that pursues business-to-business relationships between small-to-medium-sized enterprises and companies in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, the South Pacific and China.

Appointed by President George W. Bush, Langston spent nearly eight years as the national director of the U.S. Minority Business Development Agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce, managing five regional and four district offices, a staff of 95, and a $29.5 million budget. During that time, the agency increased the number of procurement contracts and financial transactions on behalf of minority business entrepreneurs four-fold, from $900 million to $3.9 billion.

Langston was also President Ronald Reagan’s appointee as a special assistant to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has also worked in the corporate sector as the director of national markets for Principal Financial Group and served Iowa’s citizens as a state transportation commissioner, state economic development director for the Institute for Social and Economic Development, research analyst for the Iowa Legislative Services Agency, and legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Roger Jepsen.

Langston began his education at Northwestern College before transferring to the University of Iowa, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He also holds master’s degrees in public administration from City University of New York and Harvard University. He is a member of the American Society of Public Administration, a former member of the dean’s council for Villanova School of Business, a trustee of Butler University, and a business enterprise lecturer at Dartmouth College.