Sunday, April 23, 2017

Midway commencement May 13 will include first day-college men to receive bachelor's degrees; Legends owner will speak

Susan Martinelli Shea
Lexington Legends owner Susan Martinelli Shea will be the keynote speaker at Midway University's May 13 commencement ceremony, which will be the first to award bachelor's degrees to male students in the day college.

Shea, a teacher by trade, left the profession in 2004 after a family tragedy and "devoted the last thirteen years of her life to working within the inner city of Philadelphia, specifically reorganizing the learning-support program in The Gesu School, where she is chair of the Faculty Support Committee and board member," the university said in a press release. "She also founded Dancing with the Students, a non-profit organization continuing to teach ballroom dancing to students, grades four through high school, in 17 under-served schools within the Philadelphia system. In 2017, she introduced this successful program to the students of the Crawford Middle School in Lexington."

Shea owns, and her son Andy operates, the Lexington Legends, a minor league baseball club affiliated with the Kansas City Royals.

The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 13, in the Graves Amphitheater. Receiving degrees will be 257 graduates, including 12 who transferred from recently closed St. Catharine College near Springfield and completed their degree at Midway. Among them are the first male undergrads to earn their degree since Midway became fully co-educational last fall.

"It's an honor for us to welcome Susan Martinelli Shea to campus for what will be an historic commencement ceremony," Midway President John P. Marsden said. "She has dedicated her entire professional life to working with under-served students as a teacher and nonprofit leader. I have no doubt that Susan will inspire Midway's graduates as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives."

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