May 12, 2017
For Immediate Release
By Joan C. McKinney, director of university communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “Through Christian education, lives are changed.”
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, told a record number of graduates in four ceremonies as 558 students received their degrees Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13.
For the 2016-17 academic year, 760 students will have graduated, upon completion of all academic requirements.
The number of graduates and actual number of commencement ceremonies are both record breaking.
The Honorable Max Wise, Kentucky State Senator, 16th Senatorial District, 1997 Campbellsville University graduate and former faculty member in political science at Campbellsville University, received an honorary doctorate of public service at the second ceremony on Saturday in Powell Athletic Center.
Wise told the graduates Saturday to “go out and do great things. In whatever your pathway is in life, do good and treat everyone with respect.”
Wise, who received his bachelor degree on the same stage he spoke exactly 20 years earlier, said, “It isn’t your experiences that define your life; it is your responses that make or break you.”
He urged the graduates to perform 10 actions as they left the ceremony: 1. Thank someone for being a part of your life and who helped you achieve this milestone; 2. Take time to disconnect – today we tend to live our lives in internet posts; 3. Don’t be afraid to tell or share an embarrassing story about yourself; 4. Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have; 5. While it is exciting to be a dreamer, be a doer; and 6. Take marriage seriously and heed these words: “You’re right, I’m wrong, I’m sorry;” 7. Don’t embarrass your family name; 8. To the men, don’t be the father one day who does not take his young daughter to the American Girl doll store, and, to the women, don’t wrap your child in safety goggles, knee pads, etc., because bumps and bruises are some of the best life lessons from which to learn.
For his tenth word of wisdom, he said the graduates will have forgotten every thing about his speech by this point tomorrow, but he said, “In a year from now you will have forgotten who was your commencement speaker, but you will not forget this:
the admissions counselor who recruited you; the coach who pushed you; the professor who inspired you; the classmate who befriended you, and the university that prepared you.
“Go out and do great things.”
The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, which is given to one student and one adult member of the community, was presented to Aaron Nosich of Radcliff, Ky., who received a bachelor of science degree with a double major in political science and pastoral ministries.
He was also named Mr. Campbellsville University and received the Alumni Association’s Outstanding Senior Award at Honors and Awards Day in April.
Nosich served as Student Government Association president for two years at Campbellsville University. He is the son of Kevin and Kristi Kennedy.
Guy Montgomery, former 14-year associate member of Campbellsville University’s Board of Trustees having served as vice chair for five years, received the adult community member’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.
Montgomery is married to Elizabeth Kennedy Simon Montgomery, and they have five children and eight grandchildren.
Montgomery’s father, Edwin Montgomery, was also a member of the Board of Trustees here at CU for 18 years and is whom the Montgomery Library is named after.
Algernon Syney Sullivan was a lawyer, devout Christian, mediator, powerful and appealing orator, a courageous citizen during perilous times, a noted philanthropist and a devoted family man. In the words of a friend, Sullivan “reached out both hands in constant helpfulness to others.” In 1890, three years after his death, a memorial committee was formed – former President Grover Cleveland was among the group’s members. The original group passed along the task to the New York Southern Society, which later passed on the torch of remembering Mr. Sullivan’s ideals to the Sullivan Foundation formed in 1934.
Carter, president of Campbellsville University since 1999, and Dr. Donna Hedgepath, vice president for academic affairs, presented the graduates.
Carter told the graduates that their commencement was a culmination of a “great deal of hard work” and sacrificies by themselves, family and friends.
“Something happens when you are here,” Carter told the graduates. “Through Christian education, lives are changed.”
He asked the graduates what it means to live in fellowship, leadership and scholarship in a civilized world – points taught by Jesus Christ.
Carter charged the graduates to live by the Campbellsville University seal that was designed by Campbellsville College alumna Scotty Cocanougher Clenney, a 1963 graduate.
The seal told the graduates to live in harmony and respect for people on the planet, to be a leader and take others wherever they never thought it was possible for themselves, and to keep learning all their lives.
Responses to Carter’s charge were given in each of the four ceremonies. Edward George Garcia of Venezuela, who received his master of business administration degree, said, “I challenge you to become someone who will be remembered for your character, leadership, devotion and heart. It is never too late.”
He told the graduates to make the world better – “so go on and do so.”
Lily ReVena Maggard of Hazard, Ky., a social work major, said her time at Campbellsville University was “very challenging and rewarding” and several friendships and wonderful memories were made especialy when she served in New Mexico to serve the Navajo people.
“Experiences such as this are truly life altering,” she said.
Robert Coleman of Parksville, Ky., who received a master of theology, said two words – truth and love – are the keys to success in fulfilling Carter’s charge. He said truth and love permeate every aspect of our lives and “Living in truth and love allows you to stand out, to be different in today’s world and became a leader that people want to follow by choice just as the disciples followed Jesus.”
Elise Bauer, an educational ministries graduate from Louisville, told her fellow graduates to “never sell yourself short. Be proud of yourself. We have been filled with knowledge and experience so that we can live the next part of our life to the fullest.
“There is much joy ahead for us, graduates.”
Darryl Peavler, a 2003 undergraduate and 2005 graduate student at Campbellsville University, who serves as director of alumni relations, welcomed the students into the Campbellsville University Alumni Association and urged the graduates to be proud to be a Tiger and to display their dipoma, help recruit students and support Campbellsville University financially.
“Please know that Campbellsville University is very proud of you and is excited to see what God has in store for your futures,” he said.
Co-valedictorians for May 2017 were Courtney Elisabeth Hargis of Somerset, Ky.; Abby Nicole Harnack of Bowling Green, Ky.: Anna-Marie Hyatt of Lawrenceburg, Ky., and Keysha Marez Martin of La Vergne, Tenn.
Caleb Norbert King of Stanford, Ky. was salutatorian for May 2017.
Co-valedictorians for the December 2016 ceremony were Ethan Wesley Boulter of Raymond, N.H., and Zachary Tanner Leftwich of Greensburg, Ky. Kacy Brooke Stinson of Scottsville, Ky. was salutatorian for December 2016.
Friday’s 4 p.m. ceremony saw students graduating with master degrees in master of business administration, master in management and leadership and master of science in information technology management.
The second ceremony on Friday was for all other 167 graduate students who are graduated with master degrees in teacher leader master of arts in education, master of arts in education school counseling, master of arts in music, master of arts in school improvement, teacher leader master of arts in special education, master of arts in special education, master of arts in sport management, master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages, master in marriage and family therapy, master of music, master of music in piano pedagogy, master of social work and master of theology.
The first ceremony on Saturday was at 9 a.m. for 140 bachelor of science degree students.
The second ceremony on Saturday at noon was for 128 students receiving the following degrees: bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of music, bachelor of science in business administration, bachelor of science in nursing, bachelor of social work, associate degree in nursing, associate of science and associate of science.
Henry Lee of Campbellsville, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, gave the benediction at all four ceremonies, and Dr. Michele Dicens, assistant professor of nursing 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 singing as did Dr. Mark Bradley, professor of music, and Corey Bonds, assistant professor of music.
Dr. Wesley Roberts, professor of music, served as organist; Lidiane Mendes de Macedo, class of 2017, sang; Hsing-Yi Tsai, Campbellsville University alumna, was pianist; Saori Kataoka, Campbellsville University alumna, was trumpeter; and the CU Brass Ensemble performed.
Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 5,000 students offering over 80 programs of study including 19 master’s degrees, six postgraduate areas and seven pre-professional programs. The university has off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset and Hodgenville with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville and a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.