WWU graduates urged to be authentic

H. Dale LaRue, left, confers a degree of Doctorate of Human Letters to Kathleen Kunkler, the featured speaker at commencement ceremonies Saturday at William Woods University. At right is WWU President Jahnae H. Barnett.

H. Dale LaRue, left, confers a degree of Doctorate of Human Letters to Kathleen Kunkler, the featured speaker at commencement ceremonies Saturday at William Woods University. At right is WWU President Jahnae H. Barnett. Photo by Don Norfleet.

William Woods University graduates were urged Saturday to be authentic and build relationships in order to live a satisfying life.

Giving that advice was the featured speaker at commencement, Kathleen Kunkler, vice president and financial advisor for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Kansas City.

A 1982 graduate of William Woods, Kunkler recounted her experiences as a student at the university.

When introducing her, University President Jahnae H. Barnett noted Kunkler was a star basketball player who at the time of her graduation had the third-highest scoring average in the history of the school.

Kunkler said she learned many lessons of life at school from her professors and coaches.

“There were many teaching moments for me,” Kunkler said.

She urged students to build relationships with people and be authentic, traits which Kunkler said are invaluable in the business world.

At the same time she urged students to be uncomfortable at times by doing things that are not easy.

She cited a trip to earthquake-torn Haiti where she worked as a volunteer digging ditches.

“Volunteer and give back to the community,” she said, “I promise it will come back to you many times over.”

After her commencement address, Kunkler was presented an honorary doctorate degree by H. Dale LaRue, a member of the university’s Board of Trustees.

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