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Mid-Year Graduation Set for Dec. 12

For the first time, Doane College will hold a mid-year commencement ceremony, conferring degrees to an estimated 100 graduate students on Sunday, Dec. 12.

The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. at the Crete campus' newly constructed George and Sally Haddix Recreation and Athletic Center. Graduates of the Master of Arts in Counseling, Master of Arts in Management and the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction programs will receive degrees. The ceremony includes a performance by the Plymouth Brass, First-Plymouth Congregational's professional brass ensemble.

Doane graduate, former professor and Doane Education Department Chair Richard 'Doc' Dudley '56 will give the commencement address. Dudley was instrumental in establishing the Master of Education program in 1992. More than 3,500 students have earned the curriculum and instruction degree since it was created 18 years ago.

Speaker bio:

Richard 'Doc' Dudley

Richard ‘Doc' Dudley graduated from Doane in 1956 with a bachelor of arts degree in history. He spent the next 40 years in what he calls "the best profession I could possibly imagine - teaching." His decision to enter that profession changed thousands of lives. He became a mentor, model and inspiration for undergraduate and graduate teachers, and in turn, affected the students who passed through their classrooms.

Dudley began his teaching career at Crete Junior High School. By 1959 he was the junior high principal. He joined Doane's faculty in 1966 as an assistant professor in history, teaching five years before becoming head of the Education Department in 1971.

His leadership and energy played a large role in creating many of the innovative practices for which Doane's Education Department is known, including its warranty of teacher education candidates to hiring school districts. He led the team effort that created Doane's Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 1992 -- another innovative program, formed as a site-based program to reach teachers across Nebraska.  More than 3,500 students have earned the curriculum and instruction degree since it was created 18 years ago. Dudley served as dean of graduate studies in education until retiring from full-time education roles in 1996.

His retirement was in no way an end to his work for Doane College, however. He continued to help various programs of the education department and took on a new role as a development officer for the Advancement Office, promoting Doane's mission to alumni and friends of the college along with his wife, Lillian "Bunny" Albrecht '55, a Fulbright scholar, fellow Doane graduate and longtime educator. They have also served as interim vice presidents for the college.

Through the years, Doane presented Dudley its Alumni Educator and Builder Awards.  He earned national recognition numerous times for his state and national leadership roles and publications in education. He completed his master's degree and doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Dudley family includes five children, seven grandchildren and numerous others who became family when they shared the Dudleys' home for extended periods of time. The entire family - including grandchildren of age - has earned degrees from Doane.

The Dudleys live in Crete and continue to work for the Advancement Office.