Concordia University, St. Paul Commencement Ceremonies Honors Lionel Rosenblatt of Washington, D.C.

ST. PAUL, MN (04/28/2010)(readMedia)-- Concordia University, St. Paul will host baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies for the class of 2010 on May 13-15, on the Concordia Campus.

Ceremony Schedule:

Thursday, May 13, 7:30 p.m. Baccalaureate Commencement Worship Service, Graebner Memorial Chapel, 1259 Carroll Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104

Friday, May 14, 7:30 p.m. College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, and the College of Vocation and Ministry Undergraduate Programs, Gangelhoff Center, 235 Hamline Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104

Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m. College of Business and Organizational Leadership Undergraduate Programs, Gangelhoff Center, 235 Hamline Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104

Saturday, May 15, 2 p.m. Graduate Programs, Gangelhoff Center, 235 Hamline Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104

Speakers and honorees will participate in the ceremonies as follows:

Friday, May 14- Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Education, and Vocation & Ministry Commencement Speaker: Dr. Shirley Miske is president of Miske Witt and Associates Inc. (MWAI), a St, Paul based consulting firm that works collaboratively with national ministries of education and international organizations to improve quality and enhance equity in education systems internationally. MWAI focuses on improving girl's education through research and program initiatives in literacy, teacher professional development and gender mainstreaming. Dr. Miske and her associates consult internationally with organizations such as UNICEF, UNESCO, CARE-US, Save the Children, USAID, and the Inter-American Development Bank; and they have authored numerous studies on education quality and equity. For nine years Dr. Miske lived and worked internationally in various settings as a teacher and missionary in Guatemala, China and Thailand.

Student Speakers: Katie Benke is graduating from Concordia's University Honors Program, in Litteris Fideque, with an individually designed major in History and Political Science, and a minor in Communication Studies. Shelly Schwalm is receiving her bachelor's degree in Parish Education and Administration with a minor in Confessional Lutheranism and certification as a Director of Christian Education.

Honoree: The Rev. Walter Schoedel, of St. Louis, Mo., will receieve the Aeterna Moliri award granted to individuals who have been effective in spreading the Gospel and extending the work of the church. Rev. Schoedel has served the church for 60 years as teacher, pastor, administrator, counselor and innovator. He is Pastor Emeritus of Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, Mo., and is presently serving as Director of Church Relations for Lutheran Senior Services in Missouri and Illinois.

Honoree: The Rev. Joel Hoelter, of Wausau, Wis., will receive the Honorary Doctor of Letters. Rev. Hoelter served parishes in Oxford, Neb.; Almena, Silver Creek, and Eau Claire, Wis. He was elected president of the North Wisconsin District in 2006.

Honoree: The Rev. Russell Sommerfeld, of Norfolk, Neb., will also receive the Honorary Doctor of Letters. Rev. Sommerfeld, Concordia University St. Paul alumnus, has served Immanuel and St. John's Lutheran Churches of Canton and Moundridge, Kan., Trinity Lutheran Church of Arapahoe, Neb., and Holy Cross Lutheran Church and University Lutheran of Kearney, Neb. He was elected district president of the Nebraska District in 2003.

Saturday, May 15- College of Business and Organizational Leadership Commencement Speaker: Mr. Jesse Bethke Gomez is president of Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), a family-centric provider of language and culturally competent services in behavioral health, aging well services, family services, community health promotions, economic advancement services (employment, ESL and adult education and The Learning Together Program) for Minnesota's Latino population. CLUES is among the Top 25 Hispanic nonprofit agencies in America (Hispanic Business Magazine 2007). He was listed among the "100 Most Influential Healthcare Leaders in Minnesota" (MN Physicians Publication September, 2008), and the first Minnesotan to become a recipient of the Reconocimiento Ohtli Recognition from Mexico's Secretary of External Relations (2006).

Student Speakers: Calvin Zimmerman is graduating with a BBA in Finance and currently works as a planning assistant for Joern, Samaha & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Nancy Stroebel graduated from the MBA program and works a bilingual executive assistant for a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company just outside of Paris.

Honoree: Ms. Patricia Condon McDonald, of Afton, Minn., will receive the Honorary Doctor of Laws. McDonald is the founding publisher of Afton Historical Society Press, whose award-winning books explore and celebrate Minnesota history, culture, diversity and achievements. Afton Press will provide 10,000 free copies of its most recent book "TO BE FREE: Understanding and Eliminating Racism" to educators and students in Minnesota classrooms.

Saturday, May 15- Graduate Programs Commencement Speaker: Ms. Toni Carter was elected in 2005 to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, and is the first African-American to serve on a county board in Minnesota. She is committed to reducing and eliminating disparities in all services and systems delivered by the County, particularly in human services and juvenile justice. She is also dedicated to raising grassroots awareness of County systems, and seeking the active involvement of communities in decisions that concern them. Prior to her election to the Ramsey County Board, Carter served more than three years as a member and chair of the St. Paul Board of Education. In addition to holding elective office, she has been a community activist for more than 30 years, particularly as an educator and an artist.

Student Speakers: Jason DeBoer Moran is graduating from the MBA program after earning a bachelor's in English Literature at Concordia. He currently serves as Concordia's technology Help Desk Manager. Dianna Helmberger earned her bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and Life Sciences from Concordia University, St. Paul and is earning her master's degree in Education with an emphasis in Differentiated Instruction.

Honoree: Mr. Lionel Rosenblatt, Washington, D.C., will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Rosenblatt served as a Foreign Service officer with the State Department for 22 years, many of these years in refugee and humanitarian work. In 2001, Rosenblatt became president emeritus of Refugees International where he focuses on indigenous peoples in Southeast Asia, in addition to continuing advocacy to protect Hmong refugees in Thailand and those forced back to Laos.

About Concordia:

Concordia University, St. Paul is a comprehensive, private university of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and one of 10 schools that comprise the Concordia University System. Established in 1893, Concordia offers more than 40 liberal arts majors, including business administration, education, fine arts, the sciences and church professions. Concordia is a regional leader in accelerated, cohort-delivered, undergraduate degree-completion and master's degrees in business administration, organizational management, criminal justice and human services. Concordia is the only private university in Minnesota to offer NCAA Division II athletics for men and women. On the web: