UCC President John Dorhauer and Trustee Russ Weigand ’64 to Receive Honorary Degrees

May 10, 2023 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Russ Weigand and John Dorhauer, Elmhurst University

At Elmhurst University’s 152nd commencement ceremonies on May 20, honorary doctoral degrees will be awarded to the Rev. John C. Dorhauer, president and general minister of the United Church of Christ; and Russ Weigand ’64, a longtime trustee and generous supporter of the University.

The University will celebrate its historic affiliation with the UCC in awarding the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to Rev. Dorhauer, who has led the denomination since 2015. During his tenure, he has distinguished himself as a respected leader in the UCC, as well as in the larger interfaith and social justice communities. Also an author and theologian, Dorhauer was a visiting scholar at Elmhurst U. in 2015, and spoke on campus in April about the threat of Christian nationalism. He is the author of two books, including his most recent, Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World (2015). Rev. Dorhauer will deliver the commencement address at the undergraduate ceremonies.

Weigand, a trustee emeritus of the University, will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his many years of service to, and support of his alma mater. His philanthropic support of the University dates back to his graduation, when he and his first wife and classmate, the late Rose Weigand, helped to establish the 1964 Class Scholarship. On her passing, Russ Weigand established the Rose Weigand Memorial Scholarship for speech therapy and special education majors. Retired from a successful career in philanthropic consulting, Weigand is an Alumni Merit Award winner and served as an Elmhurst University trustee for nearly 30 years, In 2016, he and his wife, Joyce Slone Weigand, pledged $2.25 million to the University to support the work of the Center for Professional Excellence, which was named the Russell G. Weigand Center for Professional Excellence in honor of the generous gift.

Elmhurst University’s faculty and president recommend honorary degree candidates to the Board of Trustees, which then approves the awarding of the degrees.

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