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Gannon Celebrates Ruskin Campus Spring 2021 Commencement

Published: 05/14/2021

Gannon University, Ruskin Florida Campus

Gannon University, Ruskin Florida Campus

Ninety-seven graduates of the Class of 2021 will be recognized during Gannon University’s Ruskin campus Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremony at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 15 at the Bradenton Area Convention Center.

Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., will award degrees to graduates in attendance. Students will receive 36 master’s degrees and 61 doctoral degrees.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Julie Kleber ’11BSN, RN, BMTCN, an oncology nurse at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Gannon will award Kleber a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, during the ceremony.

We encourage you to join our graduates virtually to support and congratulate them on their milestone achievement by visiting on the day of the event.

About the Speaker

Julie Kleber ’11BSN, RN, BMTCN, is an oncology nurse at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Kleber graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2011 from Gannon University, where she was also a student-athlete on the women’s basketball team. Following graduation, Kleber moved to New York City to pursue a career as an oncology nurse on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Kleber said she has fond memories of her time at Gannon. In 2010, she and her teammates played in the NCAA Division II Regional Championship. Being a student-athlete and nursing student allowed Kleber to form important friendships and bonds. Kleber said “everyone I interacted with at the University was authentic and genuine” and that she has felt valued as a member of the Gannon family since her first day as a student. 

Kleber said her time at Gannon instilled her with a spirit of caring for others and for giving back. This has become woven into the fabric of her hard work, adaptability and resiliency that she learned while managing athletics, education and personal time. 

Kleber advises current students to “be comfortable being uncomfortable” and adds that “it is important to put yourself in new situations. Gannon, and college in general, is your training ground for life and there are many uncomfortable situations that will happen post-graduation. This will help inspire and fuel you, while also allowing you to develop the habits that will cement your foundation of life.”

Kleber returned to Gannon to present “Lessons from the Bedside: Adaptability and Intentionality” during the University’s 2020 Distinguished Alumni Nursing Lecture Series. She is also a proud member of the Gannon University National Alumni Board of Directors.

Kleber earned an environmental health certificate in May 2018 from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and is currently pursuing her master’s in nursing leadership and healthcare systems from the University of Colorado.

In her free time, Kleber enjoys traveling, pursuing health and wellness, and sampling delicious varieties of cheese.