News and Events News

Kevin Brunner, PhD, Professor of Information Technology for Graceland University’s Division of Science and Math was awarded the City of Lamoni’s 2019 Citizen of the Year at the annual Lamoni Area Chamber of Commerce Gala Tuesday, March 5.

Four Graceland University Wrestling and three Track and Field student-athletes have qualified for nationals and will compete later this week. The Graceland community is coming together once again to celebrate the success of our student-athletes competing at the national level.

Graceland University will launch two new academic programs to begin in 2019-20. The Division of Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on the Lamoni, Iowa, campus will offer both new programs: a major in Hispanic studies and a minor in creative writing.

The Graceland University Symphonic Band and audience will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Monday night, Feb. 18, in Carol Hall under the direction of band instructor Chee Yim. The theme of the concert is “Diverse,” and the program selections certainly support that title.

Graceland University has again earned the Military Friendly Schools Designation for 2019-20. The designation is awarded to higher education institutions “who are committed to being Better for Veterans and are an example to American schools.”

Graceland University will launch the Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Analytics degree under the Division of Science and Mathematics in the College of Liberal Arts and Science on Lamoni, Iowa, beginning Fall 2019.

Chris Bessonette, a 1998 Graceland graduate, has been named a 2018-19 recipient of the Milken Educator Award accompanied by an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize. Bessonette received the award for his work with second-grade dual-language immersion students at Munger Mountain Elementary in Jackson, Wyoming.

Actor/musician Darrell Johnston, a 2010 graduate of Graceland University originally from Leon, Iowa, will return to the Graceland Lamoni campus this month to put on an original musical in Carol Hall as well as at the SCIT Theatre in Leon.

Graceland University is proud to announce the hiring of Zac Harmon-McLaughlin as Director of the Community of Christ Seminary.

Southern Iowa RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) is currently recruiting volunteers for a new program, Literacy Leaders, in Decatur and Ringgold Counties.

Graceland University has partnered with Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri, to offer a Master of Athletic Training with a concentration in Human and Sport Performance degree. Students in this 3+2 program will complete three years of coursework at Graceland, then enroll as a senior at Culver-Stockton to complete the remaining two years.

Graceland University is pleased to welcome Ryan Watson as a new member of the Board of Trustees. He began a three-year term in August and attended his first meeting of the trustees that same month. Watson retired in May from his position as Senior Vice President and New Jersey Branch Manager for Chubb after more than 30 years with the company. He spent the majority of his 41-year, 10-city professional career in general management positions, which allowed him to be involved in many areas of business, and he sees himself as a problem solver and mediator with the ability to bring people together for a satisfying outcome.

Vexation is defined as “the state of being annoyed, frustrated or worried.” It is also the title of the piece Graceland University Assistant Professor of Music Chee Weng Yim, DMA, played for 28 hours straight, without breaks, beginning this past Monday.

Anyone wondering what happens to food prepared at a restaurant or cafeteria that’s left over can learn the best way to take care of the problem from Graceland University students and Sodexo, the university’s food service provider. Now, unused food at the Commons finds its way over to the Memorial Student Center (MSC) on selected Saturdays at 7 p.m. with free meals available to students and the public.

After a diligent and collaborative process and review of more than 60 applications, the search committee determined Siddall to be the right fit for the evolution of Graceland.

Drumsticks and mallets take the spotlight at 7:30 p.m. Monday night, Nov. 19, in the Shaw Family Auditorium with a concert by the Graceland Percussion and Steel Deal Caribbean Pan Ensembles under the direction of Melinda Leoce. A highlight of the performance will be several numbers featuring steel drum artist Dr. Joseph Galvin, Interim Instructor of Percussion at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. The concert is free to the public.

The Graceland University Communications Office is getting a new look. Shane Adams, an 18-year marketing and communications veteran, has been named director of communications. Brooke Sutherland will take on the role of associate director of communications, where she will continue to support the university’s social media presence and work closely with Adams. Sutherland has served as communications specialist for Graceland since 2013.

Two Graceland University community outreach programs have new leadership. Cyndi Smith is the new director of Graceland’s AmeriCorps Youth Launch effort, and Lisa Kolb has taken over as director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). Both Graceland partner programs are components of the Volunteer Iowa effort to encourage Iowans to give time to promote community programs.

“I taught all my Spanish classes in the dark and without technology,” shared Professor Montalvo. “For language courses, this could be challenging given that technology often facilitates language instruction through images, audio and video. In my basic Spanish course, I asked my students to depict vocabulary words on index cards. Toward the end of class, I encouraged them to reflect on the experience. Many agreed that it was very time consuming (for a 50-minute class), making language learning less efficient (compared to using technology). Also, it was not the most comfortable setting. The latter was precisely what I wanted them to feel in order to empathize with those Puerto Rican students who were affected by the hurricane.”

Iowa State Representative Scott Ourth, Ackworth, has accepted appointment to a three-year term on the Graceland University Board of Trustees. He will serve on the 27-member governing board of the university until 2021.

Graceland alumnus Peter Hamann ‘78 is a professional ceramic artist who now lives in Japan and recently realized a lifelong dream to achieve a solo show in New York. Hamann learned from Graceland faculty such as Les Wight(Graceland faculty from 1961-87), Mel Clark (Graceland faculty from 1971-84) and Dan Keegan (Graceland faculty from 1974-76 and 1980-90), and you may have seen some of his work around Graceland’s Lamoni campus.

Graceland University has been named among the Best Online Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Practitioner Degree Programs for 2018 by, an industry-leading educational research organization. Graceland was identified in the top 50 programs in the nation that are the best in the areas of curriculum quality, program flexibility, affordability, and graduate outcomes.

Graceland University Vice President for Enrollment Management Scott Briell is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Emily Munter as the Community of Christ Outreach Specialist. Munter will begin her new role Oct. 1.

Graceland University welcomes new faculty to both the Independence and Lamoni campuses for the 2018-19 school year.

Graceland University and the City of Lamoni mourn the passing of a longtime supporter of the community. The Honorable Leonard L. Boswell passed away at the age of 84 on Aug. 17 in a Des Moines, Iowa, hospital.