Simpson College celebrated Commencement on Saturday, April 30, with 212 graduates receiving their bachelor’s degrees, in front of a near-capacity crowd in Cowles Fieldhouse. Those fulfilling requirements for advanced degrees included two graduates receiving a master’s in criminal justice and one earning a master’s in teaching.
“This class is not like any other graduating class,” said traditional student speaker Andrea Babcock ’22, who received her degree in Health and Exercise Science. “Our lives changed in ways we never thought they would. You have proven to yourself you are capable of so much more than you thought you were -- I know I have.”
Meanwhile, Jessica Grimm ’22, who came into the College’s Continuing and Graduate program as a transfer student, said she has always felt comfortable at Simpson.
“Whether my classes were fully online, or I was going to the West Des Moines campus or interacting with someone I’d never met, I felt like I belonged here,” said the Summa Cum Laude graduate in management. People wanted me here and that made all the difference for me.”
The Commencement ceremony also included special recognition for two members of Simpson’s faculty and staff.
Academic Coach Sarah Davitt ’09 received the 2022 Staff Student Impact Award, which recognizes staff members whose efforts to mentor and challenge students to graduate exceed the scope of their normal duties. Davitt was hailed as having a “passion for helping others, which shows in everything she does.”
Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice Dr. Mark Freyberg was honored with the Distinguished Teaching Award. Freyberg was recognized by both students and faculty colleagues for his outstanding ability as a teacher, concern for students’ personal development, ability to enhance high academic standards, and his support of Simpson’s goals.