UIU President Alan G. Walker confers an honorary doctorate on Betty Andres, Class of 1946, during Commencement.
FAYETTE, Iowa (May 7, 2011) – Upper Iowa University awarded an honorary doctorate to alumna Betty Andres on Saturday, May 7, as some 1,500 students received their degrees during the 149th Commencement on the Fayette campus. More than 600 students were on hand to walk across the stage, representing UIU's Fayette campus, its educational centers in the United States and Asia, as well as its online and independent study degree programs.
UIU President Alan G. Walker conferred the honorary doctor of humane letters degree on Andres. Her son, Richard Andres, assisted with the hooding ceremony. Andres is a 1946 graduate of Upper Iowa University. She earned a degree in elementary education and has a lifelong commitment to advancing educational opportunities, Walker said, citing her work as a teacher as well as her strong support of Upper Iowa University.
Andres served on the UIU Board of Trustees for nearly 20 years, 13 of them as vice chair, and she is currently a trustee emerita. She and her husband Bill, who passed away in 2000, spearheaded a campus revitalization effort that completely re-landscaped the campus and donated the funds to build a football stadium, Grace Meyer Square, and the Andres Center for Business and Education. She has continued to donate generously to create a strong and supportive learning environment for UIU students, Walker noted. Andres received the UIU Service to the University Award in 2009.
"Betty is the perfect ideal of an alumna. She shows her love for her alma mater by continually giving back. Her generosity already benefits each of us on campus and will continue to benefit students from well into the future. We will always be truly grateful," Walker said. "Elizabeth Alexander, our founder, was the first mother of UIU; and, Betty, in the last 20 years, you are the second."
The Andres’ generosity extends beyond the boundaries of the Fayette campus. For example, the William and Betty Andres Foundation in Minnesota helps numerous local causes through gifts, grants, and loans.
Degree candidates wait for the start of the morning commencement ceremony.
During Saturday’s three commencement ceremonies, UIU conferred associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees – including the first degree in UIU’s newest master’s program, the Master’s in Higher Education Administration (MHEA). Teri Walker, who is not only a UIU student but who works as an academic advisor at the UIU education center in Des Moines, is the first to complete the UIU MHEA degree. The MHEA is an online academic program that prepares graduates for leadership roles in education organizations.
Five students were selected to speak during the Commencement exercises. Jeffrey Tourdot, Cedar Rapids, who earned his master’s degree in public administration through UIU’s Academic Extension program, is a graduate of Oelwein High School and also earned his bachelor’s degree in human services from the UIU center in Waterloo. Tourdot works for Linn County Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Services.
Also speaking were UIU undergraduate students graduating with honors from the Fayette campus including: Dan Bestul, a 2007 graduate of Northwood-Kensett High School, Northwood, Iowa, who has completed a bachelor’s degree with a double major in finance and management and has already begun work on a master’s degree in business administration through the UIU online program; Kari Solheim, administrative assistant to the UIU Office of Student Development, who completed her degree in graphic design and who also is celebrating her 20th year of serving Upper Iowa University; and co-speakers Tracy Nuss, who earned his degree in all-science and who will be teaching at North Fayette High School, and Ashley Becker, who earned her degree in elementary education with endorsements in early childhood and reading.
Pastor Carl N. Tenney, Fayette Community Church, gave the invocation and benediction.
Commencement photos are available on the UIU Flickr site at www.flickr.com/photos/upperiowauniversity.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to nearly 6,800 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.