NWC to award 239 diplomas

Northwestern College will award Bachelor of Arts degrees to 239 students during commencement Saturday, May 12.

Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. in the DeWitt Physical Fitness Center of the Rowenhorst Student Center. Dr. Mike Kugler, professor of history at Northwestern, will address the graduates. The college’s baccalaureate service is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, May 11, in Christ Chapel.

Kugler, last year’s recipient of the Northwestern Teaching Excellence Award, joined the faculty in 1994 after earning a doctorate in history from the University of Chicago. An inveterate storyteller, he is known for his ability to show students how ideas shape history—and how history intersects their lives.

He is also one of Northwestern’s most demanding faculty members in terms of the amount and difficulty of the reading and writing he requires. Kugler’s questions in class guide students through discussions that tackle moral, aesthetic, social and theological issues. His goal, a colleague says, is “to evoke lively questioning, critical thinking, thoughtful writing and meaningful living.” As immersed in popular culture as he is in the intellectual life, he regularly uses current films and music in his courses.

Kugler helped establish the college’s freshman seminar and has taught Northwestern honors courses. He helps coach the men’s soccer team, leads short-term mission trips, and invites students to join his family for weekly meals.

A specialist in 18th-century Enlightenment history—particularly the study of Scottish intellectuals who were also Christians—Kugler has presented his research at conferences in Ireland, as well as at the Conference on Faith and History, the American Society of Eighteenth Century Scholars, and the North American Conference on British Studies.

His reviews have been published in The Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, and he has had articles printed in Fides et Historia and The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. He holds memberships in the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society and the Conference on Faith and History.