Concordia University, Nebraska, held its 111th commencement on Saturday, May 5 awarding undergraduate and graduate degrees to nearly 300 May graduates. The following area students were among those who graduated:

Wesly Williams of Vinton

Kenzie Woltemath of Atkins

Graduates receiving a degree in August 2017 or December 2017 were also invited to participate in the ceremony. Rev. Dr. Robert Rosin of Ballwin, Missouri, presented the commencement address, and Concordia presented additional honorary awards and degrees.

In his commencement address, Rosin talked about giving “Fs” to the graduating class saying, “I’m going to hand out some Fs as you head out the door.”

“My first F is for futility, the silliness of expecting a finished world,” Rosin said. “It’s futile to think you know what’s coming and can orchestrate it. No fretting over what otherwise might be. Instead focus on the problems, challenges, and opportunities at hand,” Rosin said.

“Expand your focus to family and friends, but don’t just talk shop and don’t just live at the shop,” Rosin continued. “Firefly is the next F. In Dante’s epic poem “The Divine Comedy,” in the section of “The Inferno,” Dante looks down into the seventh level of hell and sees a host of individual flames floating there in mid-air, each containing a soul in torment. He can’t stand the sight so his mind’s eye shifts to a shepherd sitting on a hillside, looking down now into a quiet valley with night setting in. There are countless fireflies blinking, flitting here and there, engaged for a moment, and then moving on,” Rosin said.

“F for foolish. Not stupid or ignorant, but more a childlike wonder. Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” Life changes. Each day is new.”

“Finally, futility, focus, flow, fun, family, friends, firefly and foolish is the report card. You can pursue them all because of one last F, the most important one: foundation. It has been there throughout this past year in your university’s theme from St. Paul in Romans 5: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace.”

“Therefore, because of that you have peace beyond the sheepskin you’re about to pick up, peace for what comes today and tomorrow as life unfolds and disappears around the bend. The future awaits,” Rosin concluded.