will host its 159th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14 beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Quincy University’s Football Stadium (20th and Sycamore). The 2022 spring graduating class is comprised of 156 undergraduates with an additional 32 graduate degree recipients.
The procession will be led by University marshal, Robert Mejer, distinguished professor of art, and assistant marshals, Dr. David Kirchhofer and Dr. Scott Luaders, professors of physics and chemistry, respectively. Dr. Brian McGee, QU president, will confer degrees and provide remarks. Dr. Kimberly Hale, assistant vice president for academic affairs, will convene the ceremony, Jessica Howell, director of campus ministry, will deliver the invocation and Fr. John Doctor, OFM, vice president for mission and ministry, will provide the benediction. Choir members Julia Liesen ’24, Crystal Middendorf ’23, Joseph Niemerg ’24 and Colby Schulz ‘24 will perform the National Anthem and the Quincy University Alma Mater.
The ceremony will be live-streamed on the GLVC network at https://www.glvcsn.com/quincy/.
Graduates elected senior representative Ouekie Wright to deliver the program’s welcome address and reflection. Wright is a business management major and is a member of the QU Cross Country and Track and Field teams.
Ralph M. Oakley ’80 and William E. “Bill” Taylor ‘60 will be awarded Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters during the ceremony. Oakley will also deliver this year’s commencement address.
Oakley is the former President and CEO of Quincy Media Inc., a business that operated two daily newspapers, two radio stations, and television stations in 16 markets. He is a member of the fifth generation of the Oakley family to work for Quincy Media, Inc., a company owned by the Oakley and Lindsay families. Ralph Oakley joined the company in the mid ’70s and served as President and CEO beginning in 2009 after holding various operation and management positions at WGEM (Quincy, IL), WSJV (South Bend, IN) and WVVA (Bluefield, WV). Oakley became vice president and general manager of WGEM in 1988, moved to the Quincy corporate staff, and joined the company’s Board of Directors in 1993. He retired when the company sold its stations to Gray Media Group and its newspapers to Phillips Media in 2021. He is a past member of the National Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors and previously served on its Executive Committee. He also served on the Television Bureau of Advertising Board of Directors and the ABC Affiliate Board of Governors. He is a former chairperson of the NBC Affiliates Association and the Illinois Broadcasters Association. Oakley has been the recipient of many prestigious awards in recognition of his career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large. Oakley was the founding chairperson of the Community Foundation serving West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri and is a current member and former chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Quincy University.
Taylor spent 26 years of his career as a tax attorney for Ralston Purina Company, ending as tax counsel and director of domestic taxes and audits. During his time there, he worked on acquisition teams for many companies purchased by Ralston, including Continental Baking House (Hostess and Wonder Bread), Energizer Batteries and Keystone Ski Resorts. In 1994, Taylor accepted the position of vice president for tax and employee benefits administration for Ralcorp Holdings Inc., a spinoff of the human food products from Ralston, including Chex Cereals, numerous private label bakery and other food products, and Keystone Ski Resorts. The numerous acquisitions he worked on during his ten years there grew Ralcorp to more than a billion dollars in sales. He retired from Ralcorp in 2004. He was a member of the Quincy University Board of Trustees from 1990-1999 and, again, from 2000-2003. He also served on QU’s National Alumni Board, was the QU Fund Chair, and sponsored the St. Louis call-a-thon for three years at the Ralston offices. A resident of St. Louis, Missouri, Taylor has given back to his community as a volunteer with the IRS-AARP Tax Counseling for Elderly, preparing free tax returns for low income individuals and seniors. He also served as the president for the Friendship Village Sunset Hills Residents Council for two years and currently serves as the finance committee chair.
Additional Commencement Weekend festivities include:
• 5/13 – Champaign Brunch – 11:00 a.m. – Main Dining Room
• 5/14 – Baccalaureate Liturgy – 10:00 a.m. – QU Chapel