PERU, Neb -  On May 6, 2023, Peru State College celebrated commencement for its graduating class of 2023. A large crowd attended the proceedings in the Al Wheeler Activity Center on the College’s campus.

The ceremony was presided over by Dr. Michael Evans, President of Peru State College, who welcomed graduates, family, friends, and distinguished guests to the event. Musical selections of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Sons and Daughters of Peru” were performed by the Peru State Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Matt Hill. At the conclusion of the musical selections, Dr. Evans announced nine faculty promotions.

The 2023 Peru State College Distinguished Service Award was awarded to Carlos Harrison. Harrison, a 1951 graduate of the college, is an active member of the alumni association and has been a generous donor to many of the College’s efforts over the years. He recently donated a sizable portion of his portfolio to the Peru State College Foundation, mostly for Project Roar, the College’s campaign to build five new health and wellness facilities.

Dr. Charles Hicks was presented with the 2023 Peru State College Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Hicks, an Associate Professor of English, has taught at Peru State since 2018. Dr. Hicks teaches numerous classes and serves the College through his work on the Academics and Curriculum Committee and the Inclusive Curriculum Committee. Dr. Hicks was previously awarded the 2021 Excellence in Teaching Award from the campus chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.


The 2023 ceremony saw 384 graduates recognized for their academic achievements and dedication to their studies. The College awarded 143 master’s degrees and 241 bachelor’s degrees. After the formal presentation of the graduating class of 2023, Dr. Evans congratulated all graduates on their success and wished them well as they began a new chapter in their lives.

After commencement, a large crowd attended a celebration reception in front of the TJ Majors Building.

"Commencement is always a fun, vibrant, and energetic event, and at the same time, it is deeply moving and truly meaningful for the graduates and their families," said Dr. Evans. "It is a joy to take part in something that represents such an important moment in the lives of so many people."

Nestled in the hills of historic southeast Nebraska, Peru State College offers a mix of innovative online and traditional classroom undergraduate and graduate programs, including online graduate degrees in education and organizational management.

Established in 1867 as Nebraska’s first college, Peru State has transformed over the past century and a half into a state-of-the-art institution offering diverse, multifaceted educational programs annually to nearly 2,000 students.

This press release was contributed by Paul Rieken, Copywriter from Peru State College.