Wentworth Graduation Weekend One That Will Be Remembered

Photo 2The commissioning and graduation ceremonies held at Wentworth Military Academy and College will remain great memories for many years.

On Friday night, 15 cadets were commissioned as Officers in the United States Army.

On Saturday morning, 21 high school cadets received their high school diplomas.

Also on Saturday morning, 69 college students received their Associate Degrees. The 69 college students consisted of both college boarding cadets and traditional college students who commute to campus.

The commencement ceremony probably resembled many other high school and graduation ceremonies overall which included the processional march, invocation, welcome, introductions, introduction of the guest speaker, the commencement address and presentation of diplomas.

However, at Wentworth Military Academy and College, there is always something special that makes the ceremonies just a little bit different. The military uniforms, the military music, a highly decorated soldier as commencement speaker and the cadets.

This weekend there was one more bonus that made the graduation weekend a little bit more special.

After the high school and college graduates received their diplomas, Mrs. Norma Maring, was called to the stage.

Norma Maring is a name known to most cadets that have traveled through the doors of Wentworth Military Academy and College. She is well known for remembering every cadet, their year of graduation and their accomplishments.

Her name adorns the “Norma Maring Alumni House.”

Norma, who has been an employee of Wentworth Military Academy and College for 57 years, was at the graduation ceremony in what would be her final day as a Wentworth employee. Norma is retiring.

On Saturday, along with 21 high school graduates and 69 college graduates, Mrs. Maring was presented with her Honorary Associate Degree.

“She has worked with Wentworth alums for 57 years,” said Colonel Mike Lierman, President of Wentworth Military Academy and College. “She is a special lady and we all love her and will miss her as she begins the next phase of her life as a retiree.”

Major General Stephen L. Danner, Adjutant General of the Missouri National Guard, gave the commencement Address.

A native of Macon County, Missouri, Maj. Gen. Danner received his Bachelor of Arts degree Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1977 and Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in 1980. Maj. Gen. Danner completed a Master of Strategic Studies through the United States Army War College in 2004.

Maj. Gen. Danner spoke of the Wentworth core values and encouraged the graduates to use those values of teamwork, honor, integrity, respect and duty as they move through life. He also reminded them that Congressman Ike Skelton was a true statesman and spoke of some of Skelton’s accomplishments.

“We are honored that Maj. Gen. Danner and his wife Katie were able to join us for the commencement exercises,” said Col. Mike Lierman.

The graduation ceremony and full weekend ended with the traditional “Flag Ceremony” an emotional ceremony where the high school cadets form a circle and the college graduates form a square around that circle. A flag is passed around to each cadet as the cadet honors the flag with a kiss to the sounds of ‘Auld Lang Syne.

At the end of the day, the graduation ceremony ended like most other graduation ceremonies, with the graduates tossing their hats in the air and joining their families in happiness.

“I am very proud of all the graduates and all the newly commissioned second lieutenants,” said Col. Lierman. This time of year is very special as each graduate has attained a milestone in their lives and will move forward to the next chapter in their lives.”

“I also want to give a special thank you to all the faculty and staff for a job well done this year. I am honored to work with such a professional and caring group of people.

Wentworth is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Anyone wishing to learn more about Wentworth Military Academy and College may contact the Enrollment Management Office at (660) 259-2221 or email admissions@wma.edu.