Cedar Rapids community leader Joan Lipsky to deliver Coe commencement address

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2014-04-24 14:49:58 - General

Joan Lipsky

Cedar Rapids community leader Joan Lipsky will deliver the commencement address on Sunday, May 11, at 10 a.m. at Coe College. At his first commencement as college president, David McInally will confer Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees on 280 graduates.

Lipsky received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Northwestern University in 1940, and she returned to earn a law degree at the University of Iowa in 1980. She received an honorary LL.D. from Mt. Mercy College in 1974. During her career, Lipsky worked as a clinical psychologist at the University of Chicago Hospitals and practiced law in the Cedar Rapids law firm of Shuttleworth & Ingersoll. In 1966, Lipsky was the first woman elected to represent Cedar Rapids and Linn County in the Iowa Statehouse, where she served as a member of the Iowa General Assembly for six terms.

Married to the late Abbott B. Lipsky for 67 years, she is the mother of Ann Lipsky, the president of Smulekoff's Furniture Company that was founded by Joan’s grandfather in 1889; John P. Lipsky, who retired as the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund and is currently a distinguished visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; and Tad (Abbott B. Jr.) Lipsky, an anti-trust lawyer at Latham & Watkins. She is a grandmother of seven and the great-grandmother of six children.

An active member of the Cedar Rapids community, Lipsky has served on many non-profit boards and government commissions at the local and state levels. Art and music are long-time interests for her, mostly as a looker, listener and supporter. She has been a member of the Coe College Board of Trustees since 1982, and is a past chair of the Trustees.


Rev. Wayne Meisel

Baccalaureate will be held on Saturday, May 10, beginning at 3 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium.

The baccalaureate speaker is Rev. Wayne Meisel, a leader and visionary in the field of national and community service. Since January, he has served as the founding director of the Center for Faith and Service at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. Meisel earned a bachelor's degree at Harvard University in 1982 and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1998. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and describes himself as an "AmeriCorps Chaplain."

Determined to wake up his slumbering generation, Meisel embarked on an initiative to rebuild a student movement for his peers around community service and social justice. In 1983, he launched COOL (Campus Outreach Opportunity League), an organization which organizes thousands of students on hundreds of college campuses to create campus-wide community services programs.

In 1989, Meisel became the founding president of the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation in Princeton, N.J., a major philanthropic initiative to address issues of hunger and education. The major initiative of the Bonner Foundation is the Bonner Scholars Program, a service-based scholarship that provides "access to education and an opportunity to serve." Currently, more than 3,000 students serve in the Bonner Scholars and Bonner Leaders Programs at over 80 colleges and universities throughout the country. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush appointed Meisel to serve on the Commission for National and Community Service. Meisel was one of the primary architects of AmeriCorps, the originator of National Youth Service Day and a founding board member of Teach for America.

In 2010, Meisel left the Bonner Foundation and became director of faith and service at the Cousins Foundation in Atlanta. While there he launched FAITH3 as an initiative to support young adults to connect their commitment for service and justice with their passion in spiritual exploration, faith formation and vocational discernment.

The programs developed through FAITH3 have been incorporated into the Center for Faith and Service. The center develops programs through partnerships with local congregations and national church offices for a generation defined by their commitment to service and justice. The center also seeks to renew theological education through collective efforts to recruit, train and launch individuals into both traditional and new forms of ministry.

Schedule of events

Saturday, May 10
10 a.m. - Academic Honors Convocation in Dows Theatre
1 p.m. - Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony in Dows Theatre
1:30 p.m. - Phi Beta Kappa initiates will be honored at an induction ceremony in the Perrine Gallery of Stewart Memorial Library.
3 p.m. - Baccalaureate service in Sinclair Memorial Auditorium

Sunday, May 11
10 a.m. - Graduates will ring the Victory Bell in front of Eby Fieldhouse and then proceed across campus, escorted by the faculty, for the start of commencement exercises on the Stewart Memorial Library mall. Graduates will be honored at a reception in Gage Memorial Union Dining Hall - The "U" - following commencement. In case of inclement weather, the commencement ceremony will be held in Eby Fieldhouse.

For more information on graduation weekend events, contact the Coe Office of Marketing and Public Relations at (319) 399-8581 or go to www.coe.edu/graduation.