Briar Cliff announces commencement ceremonies, speakers and honored candidates for graduation

Briar Cliff announces commencement ceremonies, speakers and honored candidates for graduation

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Briar Cliff University will host a baccalaureate liturgy and commencement ceremony to honor the University’s 2017 candidates for undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Briar Cliff’s Baccalaureate Mass will take place at 4 p.m., Friday, May 19, 2017, at the Cathedral of the Epiphany, 10th and Douglas Streets, Sioux City.

BCU’s 86th commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Newman Flanagan Center on Briar Cliff University’s campus, 3303 Rebecca Street, Sioux City.

McMahon, Kevin


The valedictorian for BCU’s Class of 2017 is Kevin McMahon, a kinesiology and human performance major from Sioux City. While at BCU, McMahon has volunteered for the strider bike study, attended multiple national strength and conditioning conferences and remained active at his church serving as the soundboard technician for their youth ministry and the video director for the adult ministry. Following graduation, McMahon plans to attend graduate school so he can pursue his passion of helping to rehabilitate people, with an emphasis on serving soldiers.

Morisette, Mariah


BCU kinesiology and human performance major, Mariah Morrisette, from Maple Grove, Minn., is BCU’s salutatorian for the Class of 2017. While at Briar Cliff, Morrisette played for the women’s soccer team, participated in a mission trip to Honduras and served as a member of the Love Your Melon campus organization. Morrisette aspires to be an occupational therapist.

The commencement speakers, chosen by a BCU selection panel, are Emma Bruns, an education major from Sibley, Iowa, and Andrea Hunter Snowball, a business administration major from Saint Paul, Minn.

Bruns, Emma


In her commencement speech, Bruns will relate how Briar Cliff has instilled its values in its graduates and given them the tools to go out into the world and be difference-makers. She makes specific mention of the Franciscan values that make Briar Cliff such a unique and service-oriented community. Following graduation, Bruns will be teaching 4th grade at Bishop Garrigan in Algona, Iowa. While at Briar Cliff, Bruns participated in the Briar Cliff Singers, Catholic Daughters, Honors Program and countless volunteer activities. Bruns also served as the secretary of student government, a resident assistant, a peer advisory leader coordinator, a Eucharist Minister, director for Antioch and lector for masses.

Snowball, Andrea Hunter


In her speech, Snowball highlights Briar Cliff’s diverse student body, a reflection of the diverse world and situations fellow graduates will encounter during life after college. She encourages her peers to use the knowledge gained at Briar Cliff as a tool to better the lives of people around them. Snowball works full-time in Winnebago, Neb. and is an active volunteer for programs in her community. She and her husband have three sons. Following graduation, Snowball will attend Creighton University Law School.

Tags: Alumni, Academics, Parents, BCU, Student Life, Campus Life, Commencement, Commencement 2017, Graduation 2017