Messages for the Class of 2020

Since 1894, the Morningside College community has provided inspiration and support. The Class of 2020 is experiencing a final semester unlike any other, which is why we've asked our Morningside family to share words of encouragement, insight, cheer, congratulations and well wishes for our upcoming grads!

Click to Share Your MessageMorningside Class of 2020 Senior Slideshow


Messages for the Class of 2020


"All my best wishes to the Class of 2020. You have many reasons to be proud of your accomplishments, not least of which is persisting through this last, difficult semester. Good luck to all in future!"

Kurt Nicklas '70
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

giving 20 words for class of 2020 brian mcfarland


Brian McFarland

"You did it! I hope you always value the education and experience you gained at M'side. One of the best decisions I ever made in my life!"

Angela Dieckman '94
Muscatine, IA

"You did it! You now have a Morningside education. I hope you feel in your bones the real value of that accomplishment. The world will continue to be a shifting place, but we know we've given you the tools you need to build a strong future and never stop learning."

Elizabeth Coody
Faculty - Sioux City, IA

"Congratulations to the class of 2020! Your 20/20 vision and focus have given you the clarity necessary to be successful even through these cloudy times. We look forward to seeing you on campus again in the near future!"

Tangela Sylvester '87
Faculty - Sioux City, IA

"Congratulations, Morningside College Class of 2020, and to my graduating guitar students: it’s been wonderful working with you, and I wish you all the best—and may your love of music accompany you throughout a happy and successful life!"

Mike Langley '85
Faculty, Child of Retired Long-time Staff Member Sheila Langley - Sioux City, IA

"I am honored and proud to welcome the Class of 2020 into the Morningside College Alumni Community! Please know Morningside will always be your "home", so stay in touch and visit campus often. Best of safe and know your Morningside family is cheering you on from afar."

Kari Winklepleck '03
Staff - Sioux City, IA

giving 20 words for class of 2020 shelley molland


Shelley Molland

"What you’ve lost in moments and memories you’ve gained in perseverance and strength. Celebrating you from a distance! Congratulations Class of 2020! #msidestrong"

Ashley Chase '09
Pittsburgh, PA

"The road of opportunities is ahead for you as you graduate from Morningside and is wide have the courage and commitment to drive on that open road."

Nancy Meadows (Mullette) '71
Punta Gorda, FL

"To our awesome education majors! Live, love, laugh, and know the difference you'll make in the world--one child at a time."

Janet Rohmiller
Faculty - Elk Point, SD

"Congratulations to the Class of 2020! My husband and I are truly grateful to those who have been on this journey with our son, Steven, and those who have helped him along the way! Looking forward to your graduation ceremony in August... it will be worth the wait!"

Sandy Cutler (Freeman) '93
Parent - Colo, IA

giving 20 words for class of 2020 john reynders


John Reynders
Morningside College President

"Dear Class of 2020,
The three years I attended Morningside College, 1971 - 1974, were pivotal in my life and career. Being oldest of five siblings I was deeply impacted by the loss of our father in 1968. As the result I decided that my life would be most meaningful only if I continued in my passion for music. So in spite of what seemed like insurmountable odds, I determined I would become a professional violinist. Morningside College became the perfect steppingstone for me to begin to realize my dreams. At Morningside I was fortunate to study violin performance with Howard Reitz and be instructed by many talented and passionate teachers in the music department - including Carolann Martin, Gary Selecta, and Ed Lanning. The music department was a very supportive community as it became a proving ground of artistic growth for myself and my fellow music majors. Morningside’s flexible core curriculum allowed me the freedom to take classes and subjects I really cared about. I loved my classes in philosophy, history, and art. I went on to the University of Texas at Austin to finish my degree and eventually gained a violin position in San Antonio Symphony. I continue to work as a freelance violinist, composer, and conductor in So. California. 

Looking back to when I was senior at East High in Sioux City, I had know way of knowing how Morningside College would provide with me such a rich intellectual and personal growth experience. It was only by good luck and providence that I was able to attend Morningside for those formative years.

I offer I hearty congratulations to the class of 2020. I can relate to both the fear and exhilaration you must feel as you take the next big steps in your lives. Despite the tremendous obstacles we now face on a global scale, I believe that your experience at Morningside has prepared you to succeed and accomplish your highest aspirations. No matter the obstacles you face - if you look both deep and wide I believe you will find the answers you seek! And please remember you will always have all the alumni of Morningside College supporting you!"

Cary Belling '71-'74
Pasadena, CA

"Congratulations, Class of 2020! One of my biggest challenges was landing that 'first real job' after graduate school without years of experience to lean on. But remember that everyone had to start somewhere, even the people interviewing you. All the best, you'll do great things!"

Jennifer Nelson '07
Roanoke, VA

"What a privilege it is to congratulate you on your graduation from Morningside College! You will quickly discover that being a graduate of Morningside will greatly benefit you throughout your entire life, both personally and professionally. People take note when they learn you are a graduate of Morningside. You will also soon discover that many of the friendships you made at Morningside will last a lifetime. Blessings as you now begin a new and exciting phase of your life!"

Bob Burkhart '70
Indianola, IA

"Class of 2020. You've had to endure a lot of hardships, especially this last semester, but I promise you that this won't be the last time you face adversity. Whenever adversity comes knocking, always remember the values you have been instilled with at Morningside College. Whether you were an athlete, choir, band, Greek, or regular student, everything that the faculty provides you with WILL help you in life after graduation. Never be afraid to take on this world alone, but also remember: you are only one person. When you are weak and defeated, it's okay to admit it. It's okay to get help. It's okay to move onto a different career path. Whatever the case, it's okay to not be okay. BUT...I wish you all nothing but success moving forward.  


Trey Rossman '17
Elgin, NE

"Congratulations Morningside Class of 2020! Reflect upon and enjoy this achievement. What an incredible journey! Wishing you all the best!"

Shannan Knaub
Parent - Omaha, NE

"YOU DID IT! Congratulations, we are very proud of you! Now, go make a positive difference in the world! I know you will!!"

Dr. Thomas Paulsen
Faculty - Sioux City, IA

"We often hear of the term 20/20 Vision. In its simplest interpretation, it means perfect vision. My wish for all 2020 Morningside graduates is that each of you has 2020 perfect vision throughout your post-graduate life. 

Have the perfect vision …
… to use what you have learned to make our world a better place 
… to cherish the joys and successes of each and every day
… to live your faith and count on it to help you work through life’s pain and sorrows
… to remember that life is about relationships with people
… to always remember your Morningside journey

Congratulations to the 2020 Morningside Class. I am proud to call each of you a fellow Morningside alum."

Dale Lenderts '76
Brookfield, WI

"HOORAY AND WHOOP WHOOP to the 2020 Graduating Class!! It has been a privilege working with so many of you, watching you persevere through classes, excel in organizations, and develop as caring, generous, intelligent humans. We are proud of your accomplishments and know that adversity has made you stronger. We love watching you find your way and look forward to seeing where your paths take you. We will miss you, so please keep in touch!!"

Leslie Werden
Faculty - Sioux City, IA

"To enjoy the moments that you live and don’t hurry. Enjoy that first day of the job that you worked so hard to get. Enjoy the nights and the weekends. Spend time with the people you love and don’t get to busy with work. Say yes to being involved, but also say no. This is the beginning of your best years."

Marie Anne Sitz '18

"To all student teachers, you've been part of one of the weirdest experiences in your teaching career. You are prepared and you got this! Go out and know that Morningside prepared you to change lives in the classroom."

Will Swanson '09

"Your dreams and your major/minor may have prepared you for X, but don't be afraid to travel the routes of Y and Z. Keep your mind free, be humble, and understand that experience is not something that can be taught. Experience is earned. Morningside has prepared you well. Good luck."

Jason Bennett '01

"Always keep learning. You never know where your life or career will go."

Mary Ansoff '70

"Take time to learn about personal finance. Paying off loans, investing, work benefits, taxes, etc. There are so many great blogs and online resources at your disposal."

Nick Brincks '14

"*Be Thankful Always for Morningside College !!!"

Kim Wesseln-Rozeboom '88

"Setting goals for your first 3, 6, and 12 months in your first job. We’re used to having deadlines set for us as students and need to set them up for ourselves at work."

Andrea Jenson Patch '09

"I graduated from Morningside College 50 years ago. There was something I knew when I was a student but didn't think about much when I was a student was that there were some wonderful and generous alumni and friends of the college who helped pay for my education through scholarships and grants. Without their support I could not have attended Morningside. They did not know me but they made an investment in my future, and the futures of many other students, because they believed good things could happen through the lives of people who attended Morningside and then went forth into the world. Twenty years ago my son graduated and experienced the same kind of generosity as he received his education. The college's Annual Scholarship Fund is a wonderful way to pass on some blessings to students and to the communities in which they will live out their lives."

Gary Armstrong '70
Former Board Member

"Although you may graduate with a certain major, remember that the world is interdisciplinary. The skills Morningside helped you gather throughout your stay will be useful in as many places as you can creatively apply!"

Cody Hankerson '18

"Remember to keep in touch with the faculty who have mentored you. Check in as often as you'd like, ask for advice if you need it, and remember that you're part of a big family now."

Asha Khan-Snyder '19

"Don't underestimate what you've learned! I took a class just to fill my schedule and that class has been the most applicable and helpful in my job now! Also, don't be afraid to reach out to grads that had the same major/minor/interests etc.!"

Rachel Kent '16

"It is more important to be a person than to do a job. No job can make you complete, but when you are complete, every job will show it."

Doug Collins '15

"If you still don't know what to do with your life, its okay. We are constantly changing and evolving into a better version of ourselves as we learn and figure out who we are as individuals. It's okay not to have it all figured out because you will constantly be learning more and more about yourself. Just focus on what works and makes you happy in the moment."

Maggie Lynn Johnson '15

"In the nursing field, which is a really scary field to be in right now, remember you were once a nursing student. Be kind. Be approachable. Teach them what you know. They are a sponge and want to learn. 

Support each other. We are all in this profession, I hope, for the same reason, to help those in their time of need. 

It’s scary to be a nurse in this time of pandemic and uncertainty. But we suit up and show up because our patients need us. We will rise up stronger than before."

Katie McGuire '09

"For education students--keep applying! Often times districts fill their open positions with internal candidates first and then other positions keep opening up throughout the summer. Check for openings every day and don't get discouraged. Just keep applying and eventually positions will become open for external (new) candidates."

Erin Michael '10

giving 20 words for class 2020 marty knepper

"I was surprised when I graduated and went on to graduate school how well Morningside had prepared me compared to others from universities. All the communication with faculty, challenging in-class activities, feedback on assignments, opportunities for leadership, and liberal arts courses I had taken for granted at Morningside made me realize that I not only graduated with knowledge but also professional success skills. Best wishes!"

Dr. Marty Knepper '72
Retired Faculty

"Congratulations Class of 2020! You've managed to endure a really strange last semester at Morningside. I'm sure you'll be part of the solution to making our world an even better place, in whatever career you've chosen. Good luck!"

Dave Madsen
Faculty - Sioux City, IA

"Pomp and Circumstance at commencement has always brought tears to my eyes. You've worked so hard and demonstrated the commitment to excellence. This year, the 'Pomp' will take place on August 8, and the 'Circumstances' are situations that are unique and memorable in the ways they altered these last weeks. Here's wishing you all the best, and thanking you for adding your talents to Morningside. You are making the world a better place. Blessings!"

Joan Neilsen (Stocks)
Faculty - Battle Creek, IA

"Class of 2020, under these unusually weird and horrible circumstances, you made it! John and I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of your journey! You have persevered through with great highs and some lows, but with grit and determination. Don't let this moment in time define your college career, but rather strengthen who you are for what you have been through. The world is changing, and there is no better satisfaction for us than to know there is a dedicated, wonderful group of Morningside 2020 graduates going out in this world to be great people who can make a difference!"

Robin Reynders
Married to College President - Sioux City, IA

"I am so very proud of you and I am grateful to have been a part of your journey. In these uncertain times, one thing I do know for certain is that you are ready to do amazing things. You will make a difference! I look forward to celebrating YOU when we are able to gather again. Congratulations, Morningside Class of 2020!"

R. Diane Shanafelt
Faculty - Sioux City, IA

"Congratulations on all your hard work! Stand tall and be proud as a graduate of Morningside College! You will do great things!!"

Mary Johnson (Hansen) '72
Bondurant, IA

"So proud of our grads!!! Welcome to a very distinguished group - Mside Alums are the best!!!"

Char Jorgensen
Staff - Sioux City, IA

giving 20 words for class of 2020 cindy barrett brewer


Congratulations Class of 2020
Cindy Barrett Brewer '82

"Even though this isn't the way you anticipated finishing your Morningside career, this will make you even more resilient! Best wishes!"

Molly Yock (Dennis-Drees) '09
Brayton, IA

"Congratulations, Class of 2020! What a year for your achievement! I know great possibilities are in the future for a Morningside Graduate! Good luck. Celebrate safely!"

Janet Brandt (Cunningham) '68
Algona, IA

"Congratulations, you beautiful people! I can hardly imagine enduring a pandemic during my final semester of college, but you have all done it with grace and will now be stronger for it. I admire you. Graduation is not really an end, but truly a beginning! Wishing you all the best as you head out into the world and each use your unique gifts to make the world a better place. Congratulations on all your achievements!!!"

Natasha Hongsermeier-Graves (Hongsermeier) '17
Omaha, NE

giving 20 words for class of 2020 mary zink


Mary Zink

"Celebrate this achievement! Future celebrations await as you build upon this experience to make new connections and creations. Morningside Proud!"

Shelby Prindaville
Faculty - Sioux City, IA

"Congratulations Class of 2020 ~ You have overcome massive odds and graduated from college in the middle of a world-wide pandemic! And no one can hold a candle to that accomplishment. Right now the future is very uncertain for all of us, but I know you all will persevere to go on and make the world a better place."

Aaron Bunker
Faculty - Sioux City, IA

giving 20 words for class of 2020 jesse nitzschke


International Student Morningside Shout Out
Jesse Nitzschke '18