Lakeland College awarded degrees to more than 750 students on Sunday at the college's 154th commencement.
A total of 764 students graduated, including 508 undergraduates and 256 graduate students. Lakeland held separate ceremonies for its graduate and undergraduate students in the Wehr Center fieldhouse on Lakeland's main campus.
It was the final graduation ceremony as Lakeland College, as the institution will become Lakeland University on July 1.
President Dan Eck told the students they join graduates of Mission House College, the institution's name prior to 1956, as important parts of the Lakeland story.
"We will still be the Lakeland you know and love," Eck said. "We will remain connected and honor our history and all of those people that have built this institution and witnessed its evolution from Mission House, to Lakeland College, and forward into the future."
Callie Olson, the winner of the Lakeland's Koehler Campus Senior Award and a double major in nonprofit organization management and religion, challenged her classmates to look up from their portable devices and invest in those around them.
"While I wish for you all to set out and follow your dreams and accomplish the many goals you have set for yourself, I wish even more for you to invest in and have meaningful relationships with others that continuously encourage you and uphold you during your times of need," Olson said. "Always strive to be a blessing to those around you every day, and never lose sight of those individuals who have helped you get to where you are today."
Benjamin M. Salzmann, president and CEO of ACUITY Insurance, delivered the commencement address for the undergraduate ceremony.
In addition to being an employer of dozens of Lakeland graduates, the college and ACUITY are partners in a program at Sheboygan South High School that allows South students to take computer science courses that earn both high school and college credit and creates work-based learning opportunities at ACUITY.
"We have hired more graduates from Lakeland than any other college or university in the nation," Salzmann said. "Lakeland graduates are absolutely vital to ACUITY's success."
Dale Vos, a Lakeland graduate and district sales manager for Great Lakes Hybrids, delivered the commencement address for the graduate ceremony. Vos received a master of business administration degree from Lakeland in 2012. His daughter, Grace, received her bachelor's degree in psychology with honors on Sunday.