BVU Alumnus to Deliver Graduate Commencement Address

Dr. Rahn Franklin Jr.’08, M.S.Ed.’11 serves as Vice President of Inclusive Excellence at Bethel University.

Buena Vista University (BVU) is pleased to announce that Dr. Rahn Franklin Jr. ’08, M.S.Ed.’11 will deliver the commencement address for the graduate program ceremony, which will be held at 11 a.m. CST on Saturday, May 4, in Siebens Fieldhouse.

Originally from Kansas City, Dr. Franklin earned a bachelor’s degree in sport and fitness management and his master’s in school counseling from Buena Vista University. He then completed his Ph.D. at Northcentral University in the School of Education, specializing in organizational leadership. Dr. Franklin currently is the Vice President of Inclusive Excellence at Bethel University. In this position, he leads strategy and development to enhance the climate, composition, and character toward missional fulfillment at Bethel.Dr. Rahn Franklin Jr.

“I am excited that Dr. Rahn Franklin Jr. is the commencement speaker for our graduate students. When I asked our graduate faculty for an alumnus who was doing great things Rahn’s name came up repeatedly,” said BVU President Brian A. Lenzmeier, Ph.D. “He is a servant leader who lives our motto of ‘Education for Service’ every day, and we are proud of what he has accomplished professionally. I am confident he will have some inspiring things to share with our students about embracing what they learned in their graduate program to have a positive impact on the people in their communities.”

Dr. Franklin came to Bethel University in 2021 from Northwestern College, where he served as the Director of Strategic Diversity Initiatives for ten years and serving as a football coach. Rahn played professional football for Sioux City and the Sioux Falls Storm during that timeframe as well. Previous to that, he served as a Residence Hall Director and the Assistant Director of Student Activities at BVU.

”BV provided me the opportunity to belong to a community and become the scholar and servant leader that I am today,” said Dr. Franklin. “I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to give back to the community who built the foundation for me to become a blessing for others.”

Dr. Franklin is a Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Fellow and a Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Diversity Commissioner. These global leadership positions connect theory and practice in order to cultivate communities that foster flourishing for all.

The graduate Commencement ceremony on May 4 is one of two held on campus that day. BVU’s undergraduate Commencement ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday in Siebens Fieldhouse. Jeff Anderson ’03, will serve as keynote speaker for that celebration. BVU’s Baccalaureate ceremony begins at 9 a.m. Saturday in Schaller Chapel and will be directed by Dr. Melanie Hauser, University Chaplain, and Associate Professor of Chemistry. 

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