Each April, Graceland University
celebrates its emerging scholars at
In its ninth year in 2017, over 100 scholars presented to an audience of area high school students, National Honors Society members, counselors, peers and faculty.
Scholars exhibited their works in an array of different mediums, including poster presentations, demonstrations, art shows, musical instrument recitals and senior projects. The quality and depth of the presentations continue to increase.
The showcase began in 2009 when professors Dan Pratt ’81, Bill Norman, Sherri Kirkpatrick ’65 and Jeana Wilcox came up with the idea to incorporate undergraduate research back into the curriculum.
This is the one time during the year we really have the opportunity to see what Graceland students are accomplishing intellectually on the academic side. These amazing minds are becoming the movers and shakers of today and tomorrow. They will be the leaders in business, medicine, dentistry and the sciences.
~ Dan Pratt `81
Professor of Chemistry
The event’s keynote speaker was Jim Ash `78, partner at the law firm of Husch Blackwell LLP and Chair of the firm’s Food and Agribusiness Unit.
For 10 years, Ash taught a Negotiation Techniques course at Graceland and currently sits on the Board of Advisors for Graceland University ENACTUS.
Ash spoke of lessons he learned during different stages of life, including the value of work, importance of an education and appreciation of diversity. He told the audience of students that no job is too small and no challenge is too big if divided into smaller pieces, and to learn everything possible at every point because it will pay off later. Ash credits the value of his success to those lessons. “Being successful in a career isn’t everything,” he said. “In fact, it’s not a whole lot when it really comes down to understanding what’s needed in the world. I always wanted to see if there wasn’t a way to have a little more impact beyond a professional and business career.” And he has. His list of extensive philanthropy efforts reveals the impact he has made well beyond his successful business career.
Graceland volunteers bring Scholars’ Showcase to life each year, and every year the event has grown and improved. The planning team is looking forward to an even better event for Spring 2018 when Graceland students will again showcase their academic achievements.