SUMMER 2019 VOL.35, NO.1

In front of the MSC with hard hats on and holding shovels for the groundbreaking, left to right, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Dave Schaal, Gould Evans Architecture Managing Principal Dennis Strait, 2019-20 Student Government President Randallynn Smith, Lead Donors Cherry and Jay Newcom, President Patricia Draves and Board of Trustees Chair Harry Ashenhurst

BREAKING GROUND on Newcom Student Union

The Buzz

A brand new section dedicated to sharing what's going on at Graceland. Check each issue for new updates!

Belongingness Net

An initiative championed by a task force of faculty and staff to address student retention.

Class of 2019

Commencement celebrations recognize the hard work and dedication of Gracelanders.

President Pat Draves

There's No Place Like Home

So many of the Graceland family I’ve met with over the past two years still refer to this special place as home. For most, home evokes feelings of safety, comfort, joy and family in whatever form that might take.

Colorful woven materials into loom

The Buzz

A brand new section dedicated to sharing what's going on at Graceland — because so many cool things are happening, and we want you to know about them!

Jay and Cherry Newcom

A Lifelong Impact

Scheduled to be completed in early 2020, the transformation of the MSC to Newcom Student Union will continue the impact of JAY ’64 AND CHERRY PHELPS `65 NEWCOM on Graceland students for generations to come.

Memorial Student Center plaque on exterior of building

A Look Back

As the Horizons team spent time looking through old Acacia yearbooks, we noticed a recurring theme that holds true after all these years: the MEMORIAL STUDENT CENTER has become the beating heart of the student life experience. Here are some gems from the past.

Three students pose in front of the New Year's in November wall on campus.

The Place to Be

At the center of the Lamoni campus, and what could be described as the “LIVING ROOM” of Graceland, sits the Memorial Student Center.

Three female students pose together on campus under a tree.

The Belongingness Net

Graceland began a new initiative aimed at addressing the issue of retention head on: the Belongingness Net.

Nate Robinson on the football field with football in hand

Role Call

Graceland's new head football coach, NATE ROBINSON, has already made his mark at Graceland — and not just on the football field.

Two male graduates with regalia, balloons and leis surrounding them.

122nd Commencement

Commencement celebrations highlight Graceland’s amazing students, recognizing them and others for exceptional contributions to our community.

Harry Ashenhurst

The Power of Home

“How do we inspire students to take the power of together into a world that so desperately needs the healing power of community?”

Julia Franklin

Art as a Lifeline

Professor of Art JULIA FRANKLIN, MFA, has had a big year. Last July, she received one of five Iowa Artist Fellowships through the Iowa Arts Council, beating out 325 applicants.

Choir students posing together on a desert cliff

Have Tunes, Will Travel

GRACELAND CHOIR hit the road for its third tour under Director Sara Blessing — this time, to the southwestern region of the U.S.

Greg Sutherland

Jam Master Extraordinaire

Graceland legend GREG SUTHERLAND '73 was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame April 7, 2019.

Graceland University 1895 with shield logo

Class Notes

Send Us Your News

Completed a degree program? Published a written work? Received that awesome promotion? Earned a prestigious honor? If so, we want to hear about it. Share your memories and milestones by emailing us at

Graceland mascot, Sting on the field with the cheerleaders

Save the Date: Homecoming

Remembering the time of your life - OCT. 25-27, 2019