By Joan C. McKinney, director of university communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. –Campbellsville University made history Aug. 17 with her first August commencement and the first one with the majority of students graduating online and from off-campus centers.
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, and Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs, conferred degrees and presented the graduates, respectively, to 273 students in Ransdell Chapel.
Carter encouraged the graduates to be responsible for good and positive change as they join about 15,000 Campbellsville University alumni.
“Today,” Carter said, “we will enroll slightly over 10,000 students, a record number on the main campus and at our five regional centers and extended sites. We want our graduates to make positive social change through Christian leadership and a mission of service.”
Carter charged the graduates to make a difference in their sphere of influence. “In our hearts we all want to make a difference, and you are one step closer by mastering your discipline. Reach across the barriers and have the heart of Jesus Christ. We are very proud of you,” he told the graduates.
He spoke of the three components of the university’s seal – leadership, fellowship and scholarship.
“A leader takes others to levels of attainment they never thought possible,” he said. He told the graduates to encourage others to be scholars and to learn to live life in fellowship that is needed like never before.”
Deborah Thomas, assistant director of the Louisville Education Center, received her master of theology degree and said the graduate students have received a hunger to know more about their discipline and will continue learning.
She said the graduates will impact others with their sphere of influence and will continue to apply the seal of Campbellsville University to their hearts to walk in the fellowship of life.
“We will apply the truth and allow our influence in the support of others and perform to a higher level and be able to find solutions in our complex world,” she said.
Darryl Peavler, director of alumni relations, who is a two-time graduate of Campbellsville University, acknowledged the graduates and their accomplishments and said Campbellsville University is now a more diverse family.
He urged them to take time to enjoy the moment and thank those who have supported them, share the Campbellsville University experience and to stay connected with their alma mater with their prayers, thoughts and giving in order to keep Christian higher education affordable to see the dreams and wishes of the next generation come true.
The 273 graduates included the following by discipline: Master of Business Administration, 15; Professional Master of Business Administration, 11; Master in Management and Leadership, one; Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, three; Master of Science in Information Technology Management, 167;
Master of Theology, four; Master of Arts in School Improvement, five; Teacher Leader Master of Arts in Special Education, eight; Teacher Leader Master of Arts in Education, seven; Master of Arts in Sport Management, three; Master of Social Work, 39; Master in Marriage and Family Therapy, three; Master of Arts in School Counseling, four; and Master of Arts in Special Education, three.
Henry Lee of Campbellsville, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, gave the invocation at the service, and Dr. Damon Eubank, chair of the Division of Social Science, professor of history and chair of the Faculty Forum, gave the benediction.
Dr. Tony Cunha, dean of the School of Music and associate professor of music, led in the singing of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”and “Campbellsville, We Love Thee.”
Dr. Wesley Roberts, professor of music, served as organist, and Dr. Bill Budai, associate dean of the School of Music and associate professor of piano, played piano in the commencement.
Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 10,000 students offering over 90 programs of study including 20 master’s degrees, six postgraduate areas and seven pre-professional programs. The university has off-campus centers in Kentucky cities Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset and Hodgenvillewith instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro, Summersville and Liberty, all in Kentucky, and one in Costa Mesa and the Silicon Valley in California, and a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.