U.S. Senator Richard Burr

Methodist University will celebrate its 45th annual Winter Commencement Ceremonies on Dec. 15 and 16. This year will mark the inaugural graduate commencement ceremony. Previously, graduate and undergraduate degrees were given at the same ceremony.

The graduate commencement ceremony will take place on Friday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. in Huff Concert Hall. There are currently 60 candidates for graduation: seven Master of Business Administration students, 14 Master of Justice Administration students, and 39 Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies students. Dr. Sammy Choi, chief of the department of research at Womack Army Medical Center on Ft. Bragg, will deliver the commencement address.

The undergraduate commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. in the March F. Riddle Center. There are currently 166 candidates for graduation.

U.S. Senator Richard Burr (pictured) will present the commencement address. The ceremony will also include the commissioning of four ROTC cadets and a speech by this year’s Distinguished Graduate, Nicholas Kress, who was elected by his fellow graduates.

One student will also be presented with the Sam Edwards Award. The award is given to an outstanding MU at Night student and is determined by a faculty vote.

Following the MU tradition for students who are the first MU graduate from their country, the flag of Tanzania will be presented by Jephter Kayila.

Prior to the undergraduate commencement ceremony, Dr. James Howell, senior pastor of Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, N.C., will deliver the baccalaureate sermon at 10:30 a.m. in Huff Concert Hall.

Graduate Commencement Speaker

Dr. Sammy Choi, the current chief of the department of research at Womack Army Medical Center on Ft. Bragg, received his degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, and completed his residencies in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Ft. Bliss, Texas.

He served in the U.S. Army for 12 years in multiple roles, including as a battalion surgeon with the 82nd Airborne Division during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990-1991.

He has worked at Womack Army Medical Center for 30 years. He founded the department of research at the medical center in 2008 to serve the needs of the growing professional and graduate medical education programs.

Undergraduate Commencement Speaker

Sen. Richard Burr was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994. He served five terms in the House before being elected to the U.S. Senate. He is currently serving his third term.

Burr is an advocate for veterans, as well as those actively serving in the military. He serves as chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He also sits on the Finance, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committees.

Baccalaureate Service

Prior to graduation, a Baccalaureate Service will take place at 10:30 a.m. in Huff Concert Hall, where Dr. James Howell will deliver the baccalaureate sermon. Howell is the senior pastor of Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, N.C. He has served on a number of councils and boards, including the Duke Divinity School Board of Visitors, the delegate to the World Methodist Council (1998-2011), and the Mecklenburg Ministries Interfaith Organization, where he serves as president. He has received education with honors from The University of South Carolina and Duke Divinity School, from which he earned a Doctor of Divinity in Old Testament Theology.