Juliann Sebastian, Morgan Daubert speaking Friday at UNK summer commencement

WHAT: UNK Summer Commencement
WHEN: 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 11
WHERE: UNK Health and Sports Center
SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow @UNKearney on Instagram, Facebook and X to see photos and posts
LIVE BROADCAST: Watch commencement live at http://unk.edu/eventdashboard

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney will host its summer commencement 10 a.m. Friday at the Health and Sports Center on campus.

Chancellor Doug Kristensen will confer degrees for 210 graduate and undergraduate students during the ceremony, with Juliann Sebastian delivering the keynote address.

Juliann Sebastian
Juliann Sebastian

Sebastian served as dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing from October 2011 to July 2023. She made nursing education a priority for the university system and state of Nebraska, strengthening programs and partnerships to address the critical need for these health care professionals, particularly in rural communities.

Sebastian contributed immensely to the development of the Health Science Education Complex, a $19 million, 46,000-square-foot facility that opened on the UNK campus in 2015. This building allowed the UNMC College of Nursing to expand its undergraduate and graduate programs in Kearney and, for the first time, the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions was able to offer its programs here, making them more accessible to students from central and western Nebraska.

Sebastian was also among the planning development leaders for the recently approved Rural Health Education Building, an $85 million facility that will grow the state’s health profession pipeline by expanding existing UNMC programs offered in Kearney and bringing new options to the UNK campus.

Morgan Daubert
Morgan Daubert

Prior to her time at UNMC, Sebastian served as dean at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Nursing and assistant dean for advanced practice nursing and professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing and a doctorate in business administration, all from the University of Kentucky, where she’s a member of the College of Nursing Hall of Fame. Sebastian was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 1999 and she received the Nebraska Nurses Association Extraordinary Achievement Award in 2022.

The student speaker is Morgan Daubert of Omaha, who will earn a master’s degree in physical education with a pedagogy emphasis.

A third-generation UNK graduate, Daubert received a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education in 2021. Since then, she’s taught physical education at Woodbrook Elementary in the Elkhorn Public Schools district. She also coaches girls basketball at Elkhorn’s North Ridge Middle School and serves as director of aquatics at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha.

As an undergraduate, Daubert participated in numerous campus organizations and events and served on search committees for the College of Arts and Sciences dean and faculty positions.

University of Nebraska Regent Jack Stark will also address the graduates. The national anthem will be performed by UNK collaborative pianist Mirim Kim and Steven Boldt of Riverdale, who graduates honorable mention with bachelor’s degrees in theater and musical theater.

Those who are unable to attend in person may watch the ceremony via livestream on UNK’s website. A recording can also be viewed later on the website.


Commencement attendees are encouraged to park in the lots west of the Health and Sports Center. Visitors with handicap permits can park east of the Health and Sports Center. Those transporting a handicapped person will have access to drop off the individual on the east side of the complex but will need to move their vehicle to another lot.

Visitors with wheelchairs can sit in the corner seating sections on the main floor of the Health and Sports Center or use the elevator in the northeast corner of the building to sit in the designated section on the arena floor.

Doors open at 8 a.m.


Three public entrances are available at the Health and Sports Center:

  • The main entrance is located on the west side of the building off the pedestrian bridge
  • Another entrance is on the east side of the building
  • And a third is located at the north end of Cushing Coliseum


Guests should expect a visual inspection of person, bags and clothing capable of concealing prohibited items. Small clutch purses and wallets are preferred at entry and will expedite inspection.


For safety reasons, prohibited items include but are not limited to:

  • Any type of weapon, fake weapon or object resembling a weapon. This includes firearms, knives, tasers, chains and any item deemed to compromise public safety
  • Alcohol, drugs, illegal substances, vaporizing pens/E-cigs or any paraphernalia associated with drug use. The Health and Sports Center is a smoke-free facility
  • Animals (except service animals)
  • Laser pens/pointers of any type
  • Noisemakers (including air horns, cowbells or whistles)

If a prohibited item is revealed during a search, patrons may dispose of the item or they may return the item to their vehicle. UNK Health and Sports Center does not safeguard any personal belongings or items of any type.