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Mortuary school holds commencement in cemetery

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University of Minnesota 2020/2021 graduates pose in front of the iconic chapel at Lakewood Cemetery

Upholding to the Covid-19 social distancing rules of the University of Minnesota the graduating class and faculty of the Department of Mortuary Science had to come up with a creative way to make this year’s graduation ceremonies memorable for the graduating seniors.  With indoor facilities on campus off limits for this year, the department worked with Minneapolis’ beautiful and historic Lakewood Cemetery to hold the ceremony there on Friday, May 7.

Here’s a local news video and print article on the ceremony.

Since last year’s graduating class of 2020 had their graduation ceremonies totally curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic,  those students were also invited to take part in the 2021 commencement exercises.

The University of Minnesota’s Department of Mortuary Science is a division of the university’s Medical School and has graduated death care professionals continuously since 1908.

Here is information on Lakewood Cemetery.

Graduates process into Lakewood Cemetery

On a Personal Note:  My wife, Angie, and I were invited to attend this graduation ceremony and I was humbled and honored to receive an award from the Department of Mortuary Science as a “Distinguished Alumnus”.  If you read my column with any regularity you will know that I served as a Regent (Board member) for the University of Minnesota for the past six years.  It was a fabulous experience and one I truly enjoyed.  I recently learned that I was the only graduate from the Department of Mortuary Science who had the privilege to serve on that board in the history of the university.

One of my personal reasons for being on the board was to improve the University’s Medical School.  And, while any role I had was minor and in the realm of being a cheerleader and allocating university resources when possible, our medical school is now ranked #25 in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities and #4 in Family Medicine and #5 in Primary Care by U.S. News and World Reports.

For those of you who would like to know a little more about me, here are a couple of articles that are university related:

  • This article is from my hometown newspaper upon completion of my Board term.
  • This article (on page 3) was done by the University Foundation prior to me serving on the board.

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