Commencement: Celebrating Our December 2014 Graduates

Stories told by
Tom Ramstetter, Ryan Clark,
Courtney Ferguson
and Alyson Schoenung

Photos by Timothy D. Sofranko

NKU Marketing + Communications


NKU graduates put a lot of time and energy into their coursework in pursuit of their dreams for the future. They've overcome roadblocks and climbed mountains.

Now they're becoming nurses and teachers. Business professionals and social workers. Writers and mathematicians and scientists. And that's just a sample.

Here are a only a few of the stories from our December 2014 class…

Marc Banks

A Story of Persistence:
Marc Banks Finds Success
and Builds for Future at NKU

Marc Banks, a 24-year-old senior who is originally from Atlanta, will graduate from Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from the College of Informatics and a minor in organizational leadership.

He will soon move on to Washington D.C. where he will have the opportunity to work through a program offered by The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

The path has not been easy. In fact, Marc has faced challenges since birth. But those challenges never stopped him.

Tenessa Jordan

Tenessa Jordan Makes Her Nursing Dream Come True

Tenessa Jordan is the mother of three college-age boys, a nurse’s assistant at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, and adjunct instructor at Beckfield College. Now she will graduate from Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in nursing.

Cleopatra Kum

Destiny Achieved

Cleopatra Kum, a native of Garoua, Cameroon, will complete another phase of a journey few others have had when she graduates from NKU with a Bachelor of Science in nursing.

No Stopping Maria Small's Pursuit of Her Degree and Career

Maria Small

Mother of One Achieves
Construction Management
Degree in One Year

Maria Small, a 26-year-old mother of one from Cincinnati, will graduate from NKU with her degree in construction management from the Haile/U.S. Bank College of Business and will move into a full time position as an estimating engineer for Messer Construction Co. later this month.

Maria amassed 49 credit hours over the spring, summer, and fall semesters and was able to graduate in just one year after transferring from Cincinnati State.

Jacob Boehne Hits Real World
with New Career and New Family

Jacob Boehne

Jacob Boehne came to arrived at NKU with designs on earning a degree.

And he's getting that.

But along the way, he became the only male in the College of Education and Human Services' interdisciplinary early childhood education major.

He landed a job...

And he adopted a son.

Commencement Traditions

The Presidential Medallion

The Presidential Medallion

A Symbol of Authority and Responsibility ... it is worn at all official University functions.

The Mace

The Mace

The University’s grand marshal (the Faculty Senate president) carries the mace to indicate the solemnity of the occasion and the confirmation of the academic process.