SALINA – Kansas Wesleyan University will recognize the Class of 2017 on Saturday, May 6. The day will begin with a Baccalaureate Service at 11 a.m. at University United Methodist Church. The Commencement Ceremony will be at 3 p.m. in Mabee Arena, in the Student Activities Center, with doors opening at 1:30 p.m. Dedicated Salina educator and KWU alumna Brenda McDaniel, Class of 1973, will deliver the keynote address to the 197 graduates, 157 undergraduates and 40 who have earned Master in Business Administration degrees. A reception in Muir Gym will follow the ceremony at 4:30 p.m.
This year marks KWU’s 128th commencement ceremony. The university continues to thrive and offer students a quality faith-based, liberal arts education. A survey of 2016 graduates found that 100 percent had obtained their goal of employment or graduate school within six months after graduation.
McDaniel is a retired educator who served in the Salina public school system for three decades. Her dedication to education led her to take on many roles. She was a middle-school teacher at Roosevelt-Lincoln and Lakewood middle schools, served as an instructional specialist for USD 305, worked for two years as an educational consultant for the Smoky Hill Educational Service Center and has been an adjunct professor for the Department of Teacher Education at Kansas Wesleyan.
Recognized as the Salina Master Teacher in 2002–03, McDaniel has also shared her time and talent volunteering in the community. She was honored with the KWU Alumni Award in 2003. She has been active in Salina, serving on numerous boards, including the Greater Salina Community Foundation and the Salina Art Center, for which she was president in 1995–96. She is a longtime member of the Salina branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
A Missouri native, McDaniel pursued a degree in history and sociology at KWU. As a student, she was a valuable asset to the KWU community. She was president of Ahuru Black Sisters, a member of the Black American Student Union, a student counselor in the Black Perspectives Office, and was on the Constitutional Review Committee.
“My education at KWU prepared me to be able to relate to and work with many different people,” said McDaniel. “The diverse environment we had here really helped me to go out and navigate the world successfully”.