Ralph H. Wagoner, president of Lutheran Educational Conference of North America (LECNA), will address the graduating class of 2010 during Bethany College commencement ceremonies May 23 at 2 p.m. The Reverend Rachel McIver Morey will preach during baccalaureate worship at 10:30 a.m.
Wagoner, an advocate for Lutheran higher education, will remind graduates to “Remember Bethany.” He will be given an honorary doctor of laws degree by Bethany during the ceremony.
Wagoner began his career in public schools in Ohio before moving on to a professor and then administrative roles at Drake University, Western Illinois University and Augustana College. He has served as president of LECNA since his retirement as President of Augustana College in 2000.
At LECNA, Wagoner focuses his research efforts on student and faculty attributes by conducting collaborative research to assess the education effectiveness of Lutheran colleges in comparison to other sectors of higher education. Wagoner also promotes and strengthens the relationship between Lutheran colleges and Lutheran church congregations. In 2000, he was named an Administrator of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Also in 2000, he received the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit: Knight First Class.
Wagoner holds a Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College, a Master of Science from Westminster College and a Ph.D. from Kent State University.
A 2002 Bethany College graduate, Morey grew up in south central Kansas before attending Bethany. During college, she participated in choir, symphonic band, campus ministries, theatre and volleyball. She earned her Master of Divinity at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. in 2005.
Morey was ordained in 2009 and now serves in the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. In addition to her pastoral duties, she has engaged in a variety of cross-cultural efforts with a growing Liberian community and organizes an ongoing interfaith forum series on contemporary issues. Beginning on July 1, she will start a new multicultural congregation in the northwest metro of the Twin Cities. She lives her with husband, Jerad, and son in Brooklyn Center, Minn.