Morgan Janae Eggert from Atkins, Iowa, received a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University, Nebraska, on Saturday, May 6, 2017.

The university awarded undergraduate or graduate degrees to 306 May graduates. Graduates receiving a degree in August 2016 or December 2016 were also invited to participate in the ceremony. Rev. Dr. John Mehl of Seward, Nebraska, presented the commencement address, and Concordia presented additional honorary awards and degrees.

In his commencement address, Mehl talked about Concordia being a sending place. “It is a place where people come to be prepared for service in church and world and today, you are being sent out to do that very thing,” said Mehl.

“You are being sent out this day to show God’s love by what you do and say in a variety of different places and in different vocations all over the world. Some of you will stay in Seward and others will go to Cambodia and everywhere in-between,” Mehl said.

Mehl then challenged the graduates to move forward leaving their past behind. “I think today should be the day when you jettison all the regrets in your past. I’m not just talking about the poor choices you made for classes you took or those times you decided to go out instead of study. I’m talking about the big stuff as well. If there’s anything I hope you learned here is that you met Jesus. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t drag it around until you die. Let the light of God’s grace shine on you,” Mehl said.

Mehl’s final recommendation was to embrace the future. “Something you are not going to find in your diploma is a map from God for your future. You will make mistakes, sure, but learn from them and move on. Know that God promises to be with you. Don’t fear the future. Make choices with confidence in God’s love showing that love wherever you are sent.”

To close his message, Mehl addressed the president and provost saying, “I think it might be time to light them up and send them out.”

Six individuals received honorary degrees or awards during commencement. Those receiving honors include Lloyd and Ruth Probasco of Lincoln, Nebraska, the Distinguished Service Award; Rev. Dr. Jorge and Deaconess Olga Groh of Kanata, Ontario, Canada, the Crest of Christ Award; Larry Laubenstein of Concordia, Missouri, the Master Educator award; Kennard E. Pohlman of Omaha, Nebraska, the Doctor of Laws degree; Joel Sartore of Lincoln, Nebraska, the Doctor of Letters degree; and receiving the Doctor of Letters degree posthumously, was Dr. Delwyn Harnisch.

Concordia Nebraska graduates recognized at the 2017 commencement ceremony as earning a degree include the students below, in alphabetical order by state (except Nebraska listed first), city and last name. International locations are listed after the states.