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At a Glance

UIndy Graduation 2017

More than 1,400 University of Indianapolis students completed their degrees between December 2016 and August 2017 at the home campus, and 136 more graduated from UIndy’s partner sites in China and Central America. This year’s graduates hail from 24 nations.

Watch the whole 2017 Commencement ceremony

Morning ceremony

Afternoon ceremony

See our favorite highlights from Commencement

Class of 2017 stats

  • 1,032 undergraduates
  • 444 master's and doctoral candidates
  • 24 nations represented
  • 1,340 graduates from home campus
  • 136 additional graduates at UIndy's international partner sites
  • Total: 1,476 graduates

Student speakers

Graduate student speaker — Brandi Heil

Brandi is from Bloomfield, Ind. and is graduating with her master's in mental health counseling with a concentration in child and adolescent therapy from the School of Applied Behavioral Sciences. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with dual concentrations in clinical psychology and psychology of addictions from IUPUI. Brandi has been a motivational speaker with Riley Children's Hospital for six years. She is a member of Psi Chi, the American Psychological Association, and Tri Kappa. She has a passion for service and she is looking to work as a counselor when she graduates from UIndy.

Undergraduate student speaker — Tanner Alexander

Tanner is from Seymour, Ind. and is graduating with a bachelor's degree in communications. He has been involved with UIndy TV, Indianapolis Student Government, UIndy Film Club and has been an ambassador for Admissions during his entire UIndy career. Tanner hopes to work in the non-profit sector and someday run for public office. 

About the Ceremonial Mace

The ceremonial mace, a symbol of university scholarship and integrity dating back to the 11th century, is a traditional staff used to lead the academic procession at commencement. Maces oftentimes reflect the traditions, history, and academic missions of the universities they honor, as well as the bond between the university and its community. The mace also serves as an ancient symbol of authority, reminding us that universities are custodians both of the enduring traditions of learning and of the power they bestow upon those who come to learn. The mace symbolizes the University’s governing authority and is present only when the president and members of the board of trustees are in attendance, signifying that the proceedings have official sanction. 

The 2017 Commencement introduces the newly created ceremonial mace designed specifically for the University of Indianapolis by members of our faculty and leadership and fashioned by a local craftsman. Made from four strong woods salvaged from campus, the mace features several ornate symbols that honor University traditions and academic excellence: a globe recognizing the value of international cultures on campus, three distinct sections honoring the evolution of the institution’s name, symbolic medallions including the lamp of learning, smooth wooden columns denoting historic Good Hall and a bright, golden torch found on the University seal. The mace serves as an artistic representation of the University’s past, present and future success and will be displayed prominently on campus. 

Honorary degree members

Marc Adams

Marc Adams, Class of 1981, is the owner of the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, one of the leading training schools in North America and recognized worldwide. 

Learn more about Marc Adams

Marc Adams has spent the past 30 years transferring his passion and skills to help others learn the craft of woodworking. He is recognized worldwide as one of the leading voices in the trade, and the Marc Adams School of Woodworking is one of the top training grounds in North America. People from across the globe travel to nearby Whiteland, Ind., to attend his workshops and courses. Thousands of students have benefitted from his guidance and commitment to their success. He has appeared in several top national woodworking magazines and instructional materials and is the creator of the largest selling video series in the history of woodworking. Marc and his wife, Susie, also an alumna, dedicate themselves to a variety of philanthropic causes that lift others up and change lives for the better. His story is about living his dream and selfless contributions, deeply rooted in the traditions of the University of Indianapolis to make our communities stronger together.

Dr. Kenneth "Doc" Borden

The University of Indianapolis Herbert Bohn Professor Emeritus and Honorary Alumnus served on the faculty for more than 30 years. 

Learn more about Dr. Kenneth "Doc" Borden

Dr. Borden joined the faculty in 1968 and spent the next 30-plus years as a key architect to the growth and expansion of the University. In those early years, Dr. Borden taught a variety of introductory science courses, including mathematics, chemistry, computer science and physics, impacting thousands of students pursuing all areas of study. He is a brilliant scientist who loved sharing his interest with his students. He saw his role as much more than that, however. He spent his career thinking about not only what was best for the University but also what was next. He was a steady influence on academic growth during a defining chapter in the University’s history. Many of the research opportunities that exist today for students and faculty represent the vision for growth he inspired as a campus leader

Dr. Borden also has a love of athletics. He served as the University’s sports information director from 1976 to 1978 and for many years as the faculty representative to the Athletics Committee, including as chair in 1980. He instilled his pride and love for the University into the athletics program and was a founding member of the Great Lakes Valley Conferencefor which he was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dr. Borden also serves as a proud advocate for the University to alumni and is one of a select group to be named an Honorary Alumnus. He was a bright and innovative leader at the University, and his legacy thrives in many ways on our campus.

Dr. Katherine Welch

Dr. Katherine Welch, Class of 1993, is the leader of Relentless, a global health organization committed to caring for and treating exploited and marginalized populations across Asia.

Learn more about Dr. Katherine Welch

Dr. Katherine Welch is a global leader in the fight against human trafficking. Since 2000, she has dedicated her life to providing medical care and treatment to marginalized and trafficked populations in both Thailand and China. She founded and oversees Relentless, a global consulting agency that provides organizations with training to assist these populations, who otherwise would not have access to basic health care services. She chooses to travel across the world to help others in situations when few people will. She since has served as a member of the International Organization for Migration/UNGIFT expert panel on health, a leading agency in the fight against human trafficking. She also is the Medical Director for Global Health, the International Health Advisor for Hope for Justice and is on the Christian Medical and Dental Association Trafficking in Persons Task Force. Dr. Welch lives a life of service to others, carrying the legacy of the University forward.

Dr. Katherine Welch talks about receiving an honorary degree from University of Indianapolis at 2017 Commencement.


Jim Ream

Jim Ream is an Associate Professor in the University’s Department of Theatre and has invested 45 years at UIndy.

Learn more about Jim Ream

Mr. Ream earned his MFA degree in Theatre Design at Purdue University and his master’s in Communication at Christian Theological Seminary. He holds a BA in Sociology/Psychology from Culver-Stockton College. As generations of our students, staff, and faculty well know, Mr. Ream’s areas of expertise are theatre design and technology. He has taught, and learned from, thousands of students over the years and has provided a steady influence of wisdom during a defining chapter in the University’s history. He has produced design scenery and lighting for hundreds of productions here at the University, in community theatres, and in professional theatres around the Midwest. He has earned a gold medallion from the Kennedy Center for his service to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Mr. Ream is also the designer for the University’s commencement ceremonies. He has offered those skills as well for three UIndy Presidential Inaugurations, and many milestone events in the life of the University. Recently, Mr. Ream performed the lead role in Shakespeare’s King Lear at UIndy, which also featured many of his former students who returned for the production.

Get social!

If you like social media, you can follow UIndy's 2017 graduation celebration or contribute your piece of the story on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #UIndyGrad.