EKU Spring 2018 Commencement: The College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences

EKU Spring 2018 Commencement: The College of Letters, Arts, & Social Sciences

August 27, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


THIS IS A TEST.>>GOOD MORNING, AND WELCOME TO
EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY’S COLLEGE OF LETTERS, ARTS, AND
SOCIAL SCIENCES SPRING 2018 COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY. WE HERE AT EASTERN KENTUCKY
UNIVERSITY CARE ABOUT YOUR SAFETY.
PLEASE NOTE THE LOCATION OF THE EMERGENCY EXITS.
IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY, CALMLY WALK, DO NOT RUN, TO THE
NEAREST EXIT AND MOVE AWAY FROM THE BUILDING TO ALLOW EMERGENCY
PERSONNEL ACCESS. AT THIS TIME, WE WOULD LIKE TO
REMIND YOU TO PLEASE SILENCE YOUR CELL PHONES. THANK YOU. IN THIS CEREMONY, WE HONOR
DEGREE CANDIDATES IN ANTHROPOLOGY, SOCIOLOGY, SOCIAL WORK, ART AND DESIGN,
COMMUNICATION, ENGLISH, GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMICS,
HISTORY, LANGUAGES, CULTURES, AND HUMANITIES, MUSIC,
PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION, PSYCHOLOGY, AND THEATER. AND NOW, PLEASE RISE FOR THE
PRESENTATION OF THE NATIONAL COLORS, AND JOIN THE UNIVERSITY
SINGERS, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF DR. RICHARD WATERS, IN THE
SINGING OF OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM, AND REMAIN STANDING AS THEY
PERFORM “MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME.” OH SAY, CAN YOU SEE
BY THE DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT WHAT SO PROUDLY WE HAILED AT THE TWILIGHT’S
LAST GLEAMING WHOSE BROAD STRIPES
AND BRIGHT STARS THRU THE PERILOUS FIGHT O’ER THE RAMPARTS WE WATCHED
WERE SO GALLANTLY STREAMING AND THE ROCKET’S RED GLARE THE BOMBS BURSTING IN AIR GAVE PROOF THROUGH THE NIGHT THAT OUR FLAG WAS STILL THERE OH, SAY DOES THAT STAR-SPANGLED BANNER YET WAVE O’ER THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] OH MY OLD KENTUCKY HOME
THE SUN SHINES BRIGHT ON THE OLD KENTUCKY HOME
‘TIS SUMMER, THE PEOPLE ARE GAY THE CORN-TOP’S RIPE AND THE
MEADOW’S IN THE BLOOM WHILE THE BIRDS MAKE MUSIC ALL
THE DAY THE YOUNG FOLKS ROLL
ON THE LITTLE CABIN FLOOR ALL MERRY, ALL HAPPY
AND BRIGHT BY ‘N’ BY HARD TIMES
COMES A KNOCKING AT THE DOOR THEN OLD KENTUCKY HOME,
GOOD NIGHT WEEP NO MORE MY LADY OH, WEEP NO MORE TODAY WE WILL SING ONE SONG FOR THE OLD KENTUCKY HOME FOR THE OLD KENTUCKY HOME,
FAR AWAY FAR FROM MY HOME,
SWEET HOME WEEP NO MORE MY LADY
[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE DEAN
OF THE COLLEGE OF LETTERS, ARTS, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, DR. SARA
ZEIGLER. [ APPLAUSE ]>>PARENTS, FAMILIES AND
FRIENDS, PRESIDENT BENSON, DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, FACULTY
AND STAFF, WELCOME. I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE THE
CHAIRS OF THE ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTS OF THE COLLEGE OF
LETTERS, ARTS, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES.
PLEASE HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE UNTIL ALL THE IRS HAVE BEEN
INTRODUCED. MICHAEL AUSTIN,.
LAURA NEWHART IS SUBSTITUTEING THE FOR DR. AUSTIN FROM
PHILOSOPHY. ROBERT BRUBAKER,
MATTHEW JOHNSON, JAMES KELLER,
IDA KUMOJI-ANKRAH, JEREMY MULHOLLAND,
LYNNETTE NOBLITT, PAUL PAOLUCCI,
DEBORAH GIVENS, ABBEY POFFENBERGER, AND IS TAYLOR. THE CHAIRS, THEIR FACULTY, AND I
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY TO CELEBRATE THIS MILESTONE IN
THE LIVES OF OUR GRADUATES AND THEIR FAMILIES.
WE ARE HONORED THAT THE FOLLOWING DISTINGUISHED GUESTS
ARE ALSO ABLE TO JOIN US TODAY. AGAIN, PLEASE HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE
UNTIL ALL HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED CRAIG TURNER, CHAIR OF THE BOARD
OF REGENTS, FROM LEXINGTON. ALAN LONG, VICE CHAIR OF THE
BOARD OF REGENTS, FROM RICHMOND. JUAN CASTRO, REGENT, FROM
LEXINGTON. LEWIS DIAZ, REGENT, FROM
COVINGTON. VASU VASUDEVAN, REGENT, FROM
FRANKFORT. RICHARD DAY, FACULTY REGENT,
FROM RICHMOND. LAURA JACKSON, STUDENT REGENT,
FROM BARBOURVILLE. STEPHANIE McSPIRIT, FOUNDATION
PROFESSOR. CHARLOTTE RICH, FOUNDATION
PROFESSOR. MATTHEW WINSLOW, MACE BEARER AND
CHAIR OF FACULTY SENATE. [ APPLAUSE ] PLEASE WELCOME EASTERN KENTUCKY
UNIVERSITY’S PRESIDENT DR. MICHAEL T. BENSON. [ APPLAUSE ]>>WE’LL START BY HAVING YOU ALL
SIT DOWN FIRST. GOOD MORNING.
ON BEHALF OF EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY, I’M DELIGHTED TO
WELCOME YOU TO THE CAMPUS BEAUTIFUL AS WE CELEBRATE THE
ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF TODAY’S GRADUATES.
THIS COMING JANUARY WILL MARK MY 25th.
YEAR OF WORKING IN PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION, AND I CANNOT RECALL
HOW MANY GRADUATION CEREMONIES I HAVE ATTENDED.
REGARDLESS, I NEVER TIRE OF THIS VANTAGE POINT AND THE EXCITING
SITE OF THE GRADUATES ARRAYED BEFORE US. YOU ARE THE HOPE OF THE WORLD,
AND WE CELEBRATE YOU AND THIS SINGULAR ACCOMPLISHMENT.
IN AMERICA TODAY, HIGHER EDUCATION IS UNDER A TREMENDOUS
AMOUNT OF SCRUTINY. WHAT IS IT THAT WE OFFER TO
SOCIETY? ARE WE WORTH IT?
WHAT IS THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT?
IS THE COST OF A COLLEGE DEGREE DEFENSIBLE? WHILE AMERICA HAS MANY DEFICITS,
INCLUDING TRADE AND OTHERWISE, I WOULD ARGUE THAT OUR HIGHER
EDUCATION SYSTEM IS NOT ONE OF THEM.
ON THE CONTRARY, WE REMAIN THE ENVY OF THE WORLD, AS STUDENTS FROM AROUND THE
GLOBE CLAMOR TO ATTEND ANY NUMBER OF OUR INSTITUTIONS OF
HIGHER EDUCATION. THE “TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION
WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS” IS A GOOD EXAMPLE. ACCORDING TO THIS LIST, 17 OF
THE WORLD’S TOP 25 UNIVERSITIES, OVER 2/3, ARE IN THE UNITED
STATES. THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA CLARK KERR OBSERVED YEARS AGO:
THE UNITED STATES HAS OVERALL THE MOST EFFECTIVE SYSTEM OF
HIGHER EDUCATION THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN. NEVER HAS THERE BEEN A MORE
COMPELLING NEED TO MAKE A CASE FOR PUBLIC SUPPORT OF HIGHER
EDUCATION THAN THERE IS RIGHT NOW. NOTWITHSTANDING, IT SEEMS THAT
THIS IS NOT NEW. CONSIDER THE WORDS OF OUR VERY
FIRST PRESIDENT IN HIS FIRST MESSAGE TO CONGRESS, AND I HE WAS ADVOCATEING FOR THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF A PUBLIC NATIONAL UNIVERSITY.
AND I QUOTE — THERE IS NOTHING WHICH CAN
BETTER DESERVE YOUR PATRONAGE THAN THE PROMOTION OF SCIENCE
AND LITERATURE. THE ACQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE,
GEORGE WASHINGTON CONTINUED, WAS THE SUREST BASIS OF PUBLIC
HAPPINESS AND ESSENTIAL TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE CONSTITUTION.
THAT, MY FRIENDS, WAS IN 1790. SO FAST FORWARD TO THE CLASS OF 2018, AS WE EXTEND TO YOU OUR
HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS. I SINCERELY HOPE THE EVENTS OF
TODAY WILL REMAIN WITH YOU FOREVER, AS BOTH A WONDERFUL
MEMORY OF YOUR TIME AT EASTERN, BUT ALSO AS A CONSTANT REMINDER
OF THE NEED TO KEEP LEARNING. JUST BECAUSE YOU LEAVE THE
UNIVERSITY TODAY WITH A DIPLOMA TODAY DOES NOT MEAN YOUR QUEST
TO ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE, TO BETTER YOURSELF, AND TO EXPAND YOUR
ABILITIES HAS BEEN CERTIFIED AND COMPLETED.
ON THE CONTRARY. AS THE NAME OF TODAY’S
PROCEEDINGS SUGGESTS, “COMMENCEMENT,” THIS IS WHERE
THE REAL LEARNING JUST BEGINS. NOW IS THE CHANCE TO SEE WHERE
THAT EASTERN DEGREE CAN TAKE YOU, AND IT’S A CHANCE FOR THE
YOU TO SHOW THE WORLD JUST HOW VALUABLE HIGHER EDUCATION IS TO
YOU AND TO OUR SOCIETY. ONE OF MY HEROES, GEORGE
WASHINGTON CARVER SAID THAT EDUCATION WAS THE KEY TO UNLOCK
THE GOLDEN DOOR OF FREEDOM. CONSIDER WHAT THIS MEANS TO YOU
IN YOUR OWN INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
YOUR COMPLETED DEGREE FROM EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY SIGNIFIES FREEDOM FROM ANY MORE
COURSE WORK OR STUDY GROUPS OR EXAMS OR RESEARCH PAPERS.
BUT MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT ALSO SIGNIFIES THIS —
THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN PATH.
FREEDOM FROM IGNORANCE AND MISCONCEPTIONS AND FAKE NEWS.
FREEDOM TO COME TO YOUR OWN DECISIONS AND DRAW YOUR OWN
CONCLUSIONS. FREEDOM TO PURSUE WHATEVER YOU
WOULD LIKE TO DO. AND THE FREEDOM TO DO GOOD, AND
TO LEAVE A POSITIVE MARK IN WHATEVER FIELD OF ENDEAVOR YOU
CHOOSE TO FOLLOW. WHAT AN INCREDIBLY GLORIOUS
FEELING THIS IS. SO AS YOU LEAVE EASTERN TODAY, I
HOPE YOU’VE NEVER, EVER FELT MORE FREE IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.
THE WORLD TRULY IS AT YOUR FEET, AND YOU ARE LIMITED ONLY BY YOUR
OWN EXPECTATIONS AND YOUR DESIRE TO WORK HARD AND INVEST IN
YOURSELF. AND WE WISH YOU THE VERY BEST.
AND FINALLY, PLEASE REMEMBER THE WORDS OF THE INIMITABLE DALAI
LAMA, WHO SAID THIS — BE KIND WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE. CONGRATULATIONS, AND GO
COLONELS! THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>THANK YOU, PRESIDENT BENSON. TODAY WE ARE FORMALLY
RECOGNIZING THE CANDIDATES FOR THE FOLLOWING DEGREES —
6 DOCTORAL DEGREES, 5 SPECIALIST DEGREES, 76 MASTER’S DEGREES, 501 BACHELOR’S DEGREES, AND 13 ASSOCIATE DEGREES, FOR A TOTAL
OF 601 DEGREES. TODAY’S GRADUATES INCLUDE MANY
WHO HAVE ACHIEVED ACADEMIC DISTINCTION.
WE ARE PROUD OF EACH STUDENT WHO WILL BE GRADUATING WITH HONORS.
I WOULD LIKE TO RECOGNIZE THREE GROUPS IN PARTICULAR.
WOULD ALL THOSE WHO ARE GRADUATING FROM OUR NATIONALLY
PROMINENT HONORS PROGRAM AS HONORS SCHOLARS PLEASE STAND AND
REMAIN STANDING? [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] WOULD ALL THOSE WHO ARE
GRADUATING SUMMA CUM LAUDE WITH A 3.9 GPA OR HIGHER PLEASE STAND
AND REMAIN STANDING? [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] AND WOULD ALL THOSE GRADUATES
WHO ARE MEMBERS OF EKU’S HIGHEST MULTI-DISCIPLINARY HONOR
SOCIETY, PHI KAPPA PHI, ALSO STAND? [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] WE ARE VERY PROUD TO HONOR THESE
THREE GROUPS OF OUTSTANDING UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARS.
YOU MAY BE SEATED. [ APPLAUSE ] CONGRATULATIONS, AS WELL, TO ALL
WHO ARE GRADUATING WITH OTHER HONORS THIS MORNING. THROUGHOUT ITS 144-YEAR HISTORY,
EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY HAS BEEN KNOWN AS A SCHOOL OF
OPPORTUNITY, AND WE WILL ALWAYS BE PROUD OF THAT DISTINCTION.
I AM PARTICULARLY PLEASED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE MANY
FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE GRADUATES WHO ARE EARNING A
DEGREE. A FIRST-GENERATION GRADUATE
MEANS THAT NEITHER THEIR PARENTS, NOR ANYONE IN AN
EARLIER GENERATION, WAS A COLLEGE GRADUATE.
WILL ALL THE CANDIDATES FOR DEGREES WHO ARE THE FIRST
GENERATION IN THEIR FAMILIES TO EARN A COLLEGE DEGREE PLEASE
STAND? [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] YOU MAY BE SEATED.
COMMENCEMENT IS ALSO THE TIME WE RECOGNIZE THE MANY OTHERS WHO
HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE SUCCESS OF THESE CANDIDATES WITH
RESOURCES, ENCOURAGEMENT, OCCASIONAL CAJOLING, LOVE, AND
UNDERSTANDING. NOW I ASK THE FOLLOWING TO STAND AS YOU ARE PRESENTED, AND REMAIN
STANDING SO THAT WE MAY WELCOME AND HONOR YOU AS A GROUP.
WILL THE PARENTS OF THE CANDIDATES FOR GRADUATION PLEASE
STAND? [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] WILL THE SPOUSES OF THE
CANDIDATES PLEASE STAND? [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] WILL THE GRANDPARENTS OF THE
CANDIDATES PLEASE STAND? [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] WILL THE CHILDREN AND OTHER
FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE CANDIDATES PLEASE STAND? [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] AND, FAMILY MEMBERS, YOU MAY BE
SEATED. AND WILL THE FACULTY AND STAFF
WHO HAVE INSTRUCTED AND SERVED THESE CANDIDATES PLEASE STAND?
[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] YOU MAY BE SEATED.
ING THE CLINICAL DECISION SUPPORT, PLEASE JOIN ME ONE MORE
TIME FOR SHOWING YOUR APPRECIATION FOR THESE VERY
IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN YOUR LIVES WITH A GENEROUS ROUND OF
APPLAUSE. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] EACH SEMESTER, A MEMBER OF THE
GRADUATING CLASS IS SELECTED FOR THE HONOR OF PRESENTING A
STUDENT COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS. THIS SEMESTER, WE ARE HONORED TO HAVE AS OUR SPEAKER A SENIOR
GRADUATING FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATIONS.
HERE TO INTRODUCE OUR STUDENT SPEAKER IS MR. JOHN STRADA,
SENIOR LECTURER IN THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION: [ APPLAUSE ]>>THANK YOU, DEAN ZEIGLER.
ON BEHALF OF THE COMMUNICATION STUDIES FACULTY, IT IS MY
DISTINCT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE RALEY MARTIN, WHO IS GRADUATING
TODAY WITH A BACHELOR OF ARTS IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES.
WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO WELCOME THE MEMBERS OF
RALEY’S FAMILY IN ATTENDANCE TODAY —
HER MOTHER, VALORIE MARTIN. HER GRANDFATHER, JAMES MARTIN.
HER SISTER, JANET TUNGATE. HER BROTHER, AIDAN MARTIN.
HER NIECE AND NEPHEW, GEORGE AND AIDAH MARTIN.
HER AUNT AND UNCLE, WESLEY AND JOY MARTIN.
AND HER GREAT AUNT AND UNCLE, WAYNE AND DARLENE MARTIN.
WE KNOW YOU MUST BE AS PROUD OF HER AS WE ALL ARE.
A WORD THAT COMES TO MIND IN THE DEPARTMENT WHEN WE THINK
OF RALEY IS PASSION. IN FACT, MANY OF THE GRADUATES
IN THE AUDIENCE TODAY MAY KNOW RALEY FROM HER WORK AS A
CONSULTANT IN THE NOEL STUDIO. AND IF YOU DO, YOU HAVE SEEN
THAT PASSION FIRSTHAND. RALEY IS PASSIONATE ABOUT
LEARNING. SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT MAKING
POSITIVE CONNECTIONS WITH PEOPLE, AND SHE IS PASSIONATE
ABOUT MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD. AFTER GRADUATION, RALEY PLANS TO
MOVE TO LOUISVILLE AND WORK IN ADVOCACY PROGRAMS FOR
DISADVANTAGED GROUPS, AND THEN EVENTUALLY ATTEND GRADUATE
SCHOOL. I HAVE TO SAY, ALL OF US IN THE
DEPARTMENT ARE REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING WHAT SHE
ACCOMPLISHES NOT ONLY AS AMBASSADOR FOR COMMUNICATION
STUDIES, BUT FOR EKU, AS SHE USES THAT SAME PASSION TO CHANGE
THE LIVES OF KENTUCKIANS IN REAL, POSITIVE, AND MEANINGFUL
WAYS. SO PLEASE, EVERYONE, HELP ME
GIVE A WARM WELCOME FOR THIS MORNING’S STUDENT SPEAKER, RALEY
MARTIN. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>THANK YOU.
I KNOW IT IS EARLY IN THE MORNING, AND A LOT OF US ARE
TIRED. I KNOW A LOT OF US ARE OVER
GETTING UP EARLY TO COME TO COLLEGE.
BUT AFTER YEARS OF HARD WORK, SLEEP DEPRIVATION, EARLY
MORNINGS, HUNGER, BALANCING OUR EDUCATIONS WITH JOBS, FAMILIES,
SOCIAL LIVES, AND STRETCHING OURSELVES THINNER THAN WE EVER
IMAGINED WE COULD BECOME, WE ARE FINALLY HERE TO CELEBRATE OUR
GRADUATION FROM AN EXCELLENT ACADEMIC INSTITUTION. IT IS TRULY AN HONOR AND A
PRIVILEGE TO BE HERE WITH YOU ALL TODAY, AND IT HAS BEEN AN
ABSOLUTE PRIVILEGE TO STUDY HERE AT EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY. I SAY “PRIVILEGE,” BECAUSE
THROUGH ALL THE STRESS AND STRUGGLES THAT MANY COLLEGE
STUDENTS EXPERIENCE, WE BEGIN TO THINK OF SCHOOL AS AN OBLIGATION
RATHER THAN AN OPPORTUNITY. WE OFTEN FORGET HOW EXTREMELY
FORTUNATE WE ARE TO HAVE ACCESS TO AN EDUCATION, TO HAVE CHOICE
AND DIVERSITY IN WHAT WE STUDY, AND TO APPLY OUR KNOWLEDGE TO
BOTH OUR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL GOALS AND
ASPIRATIONS. THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, TOO MANY
PEOPLE ENDURE OVERWHELMING ADVERSITY IN PURSUIT OF THE EDUCATION THAT WE SO OFTEN TAKE
FOR GRANTED. IN SOME PLACES, STUDENTS ARE
REQUIRED TO ATTEND SCHOOL NOT FOR THE PURPOSES OF INTELLECTUAL
GROWTH OR EDUCATION, BUT IN ORDER TO REINFORCE PROPAGANDA
PRODUCED BY TOTALITARIAN REGIMES WHO USE EDUCATION AS A WEAPON
RATHER THAN A GIFT. IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD, THERE IS A LACK OF RESOURCES AND
TRAINED PERSONNEL TO PROVIDE PEOPLE WITH COMPREHENSIVE
EDUCATION. SADLY, ACCORDING TO PHINEAS
RUECKERT, WRITER AT GLOBAL CITIZEN, IN 2018 THERE ARE STILL
MANY CULTURES THAT DON’T ALLOW WOMEN OR INDIVIDUALS WITH
DISABILITIES TO ACQUIRE AN EDUCATION.
LACK OF EDUCATION MEANS LACK OF INTELLECTUAL AND PERSONAL
GROWTH, LACK OF OPPORTUNITY, AND LACK OF ADVANCEMENT.
PAINFUL AS THESE FACTS MAY BE, THEY ARE A HUMBLING REMINDER TO
THOSE OF US SO FORTUNATE TO NOT FACE THESE HINDRANCES THAT OUR
EDUCATION IS A PRIVILEGE. IT IS A DAILY FREEDOM IN OUR
LIVES THAT IS ABSENT, OR NONEXISTENT, IN THE LIVES OF SO
MANY OTHERS. THE MORE THAT SCHOLARS LIKE US
LEARN TO EMBRACE THE IMPORTANCE AND IMPACT OF EDUCATION, THE
MORE INSPIRED AND CAPABLE WE BECOME TO ENSURE THAT EDUCATION
IS DELIVERED TO THOSE DEPRIVED AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
PLENTY OF STUDENTS COME TO COLLEGE WITH THE IDEA THAT
SCHOOL IS SIMPLY A RITE OF PASSAGE INTO THE PROFESSIONAL
WORLD. AND OF COURSE, IT IS.
BUT THE TIME AND EXPERIENCE IN COLLEGE IS SO MUCH MORE THAN
THAT. COLLEGE IS A PLACE TO MEET
FASCINATING AND INSPIRING NEW PEOPLE.
COLLEGE IS A TIME TO MAKE UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES.
COLLEGE IS WHERE YOU LEAVE BEHIND WHO YOU WERE, FIGURE OUT
WHO YOU ARE, AND WORK ON WHO YOU WANT TO BE.
COLLEGE IS WHERE YOUR MOST FUNDAMENTAL CONVICTIONS ARE
CHALLENGED, WHERE YOU LEARN TO BECOME A WELL-ROUNDED CRITICAL
THINKER, AND WHERE YOU LEARN TO CONSTANTLY QUESTION YOURSELF AND
OTHERS SO THAT YOU ARE ALWAYS GROWING AS A PERSON.
SO I ENCOURAGE ALL OF YOU TO THINK OF COLLEGE AS A
TRANSFORMATION RATHER THAN A DUTY.
SURE, COLLEGE IS AN INSTITUTION DESIGNED TO PREPARE YOU FOR JOBS
AND CAREERS AND REAL-LIFE EXPERIENCES, BUT I SINCERELY
HOPE THAT COLLEGE HAS ALSO EVOLVED YOU ALL INTO INDIVIDUALS
WHO HAVE AN INSATIABLE HUNGER FOR KNOWLEDGE AND AN
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR ENLIGHTENMENT. TAKE PRIDE IN ACKNOWLEDGING THAT
EDUCATION IS A PRIVILEGE WHICH PROVIDES US WITH POWER THAT CAN
NEVER BE UNDERESTIMATED. WHAT MAKES THE STUDENTS IN THE
COLLEGE OF LETTERS, ARTS, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES SO SPECIAL IS
THAT EACH ONE OF OUR PROGRAMS IS DEDICATED TO STUDYING AND
IMPROVING THE LIVES OF PEOPLE. THOUGH WE MAY ALL HAVE THAT IN
COMMON, WE ALL CAME HERE AND WE WILL ALL BE LEAVING HERE WITH
VERY DIFFERENT VISIONS. WHICH IS A BEAUTIFUL THING.
OUR EDUCATION HAS PROVIDED US WITH COUNTLESS POSSIBILITIES TO
MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OTHERS’ LIVES, AS WELL AS IMPROVE
OURSELVES. SOME OF US MAY USE OUR
SCHOLARSHIP TO BECOME AN ADVOCATE FOR THOSE WHO ARE
VOICELESS IN SOCIETY. OTHERS MAY USE THESE DEGREES TO
CONTINUE TO GAIN KNOWLEDGE AND TEACH OTHERS.
MANY OF US WILL WORK TO BRIDGE INTERCULTURAL GAPS IN
COMMUNICATION. AND MANY WILL USE ART, MUSIC, LANGUAGE, AND SYMBOLS TO TELL
STORIES, SEND MESSAGES, CREATE MEANING, AND INSPIRE OTHERS. WE HAVE ALL COME A VERY LONG WAY
AND IT HAS TAKEN A LOT OF HARD WORK AND SOMETIMES EVEN FEELINGS
OF DEFEAT TO BRING US TO WHERE WE ARE, BUT WE MUST ALWAYS
REMEMBER HOW BLESSED WE HAVE BEEN TO ACQUIRE AN EDUCATION AT
A SCHOOL SO INTENSELY DEVOTED TO ITS STUDENTS. COLLEGE HAS BEEN A TOTAL ROLLER
COASTER, BUT ALL OF THE UPS AND DOWNS THAT WE HAVE EXPERIENCED
HAVE BEEN JOURNEYS THAT HAVE ALLOWED US TO CREATE MEANINGFUL
MEMORIES, AS WELL AS DEVELOP CAPABILITIES THAT WE CAN USE TO
CHANGE THE FUTURE. REGARDLESS OF WHERE OUR PATHS
TAKE US AFTER TODAY, EVERYTHING WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED HERE AT
EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY HAS GIVEN US THE TOOLS AND MOMENTUM
WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR LIVES AND THE LIVES OF OTHERS FOR THE
BETTER. WHEN I LOOK INTO THIS AUDIENCE,
I SEE A CONGREGATION OF INTELLECTUALS WHO ARE WALKING
OUT OF THESE DOORS TODAY AS LEADERS. FROM PUPIL, TO PROFESSIONAL. FROM STUDENT, TO MASTER.
FROM SPECTATOR TO CHAMPION. CONGRATULATIONS, O’REONERE O’
EVERYONE. THANK YOU.
[ APPLAUSE ]>>THANK YOU, RALEY.
WE APPRECIATE YOUR WILLINGNESS TO SPEAK TODAY AND WISH YOU THE
BEST IN YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS.>>PRESIDENT MICHAEL T. BENSON
AND INTERIM PROVOST DEBORAH WHITEHOUSE WILL NOW PROCEED WITH
THE FORMAL CONFERRING OF DEGREES ON OUR GRADUATES.>>PRESIDENT BENSON, DEAN JERRY
POGATSHNIK WILL PRESENT CANDIDATES FOR GRADUATE DEGREES.>>WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR
DOCTORAL DEGREES PLEASE STAND AND REMAIN STANDING? WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR
SPECIALIST DEGREES PLEASE STAND AND REMAIN STANDING? WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR MASTERS
DEGREES PLEASE STAND AND REMAIN STANDING? PRESIDENT BENSON, THESE
CANDIDATES HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE FACULTY, AND I PRESENT THEM
TO YOU FOR THE CONFERRING OF THEIR DEGREES.>>PRESIDENT BENSON, DEAN SARA
ZEIGLER WILL NOW PRESENT CANDIDATES FOR UNDERGRADUATE
DEGREES.>>WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR
BACCALAUREATE DEGREES PLEASE STAND AND REMAIN STANDING? [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR
ASSOCIATE DEGREES PLEASE STAND AND REMAIN STANDING? [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] PRESIDENT BENSON, THESE
CANDIDATES HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE FACULTY, AND I PRESENT THEM
TO YOU FOR THE CONFERRING OF THEIR DEGREES.>>PRESIDENT BENSON, WITH THE
RECOMMENDATION OF THE FACULTY, THE DEANS AND I PRESENT THESE
CANDIDATES TO YOU FOR THE CONFERRING OF THEIR DEGREES.>>CANDIDATES, THE LONG
ANTICIPATED HOUR HAS COME. YOU ARE HERE WITH FAMILY AND
LOVED ONES LOOKING ON. THE FACULTY AND OFFICERS OF THE
UNIVERSITY ARE GATHERED IN WITNESS AND TESTIMONY TO YOUR
CONDUCT AND PURPOSE. THEREFORE, BY VIRTUE OF THE
AUTHORITY GRANTED ME BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF EASTERN
KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY, AND WITH THE FACULTY’S RECOMMENDATION, IT
IS NOW MY PLEASURE TO CONFER UPON EACH OF YOU THE APPROPRIATE
DEGREE, AND DO HEREBY VEST EACH OF YOU WITH THE RIGHTS AND
PRIVILEGES PERTAINING TO THAT DEGREE. ONCE VERIFIED BY FINAL GRADES,
YOUR DIPLOMA WILL BE CONFIRMED AND ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE GREAT
SEAL OF EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY. CONGRATULATIONS, CANDIDATES.
PLEASE BE SEATED. [ APPLAUSE ]>>AT THIS TIME, WILL THE
COLLEGE STAFF PLEASE ESCORT THE DEGREE CANDIDATES TO THE STAGE? MR. JOHN STRADA WILL NOW READ
THE NAMES OF THE GRADUATES. THIS IS BOTH A SOLEMN AND JOYOUS
OCCASION. AS THE NAMES ARE CALLED, I ASK
EACH OF YOU TO SHOW THE DECORUM AND THE DIGNITY WHICH THE
OCCASION WARRANTS. IN THIS WAY, EACH GRADUATE CAN
RECEIVE THE RECOGNITION HE OR SHE DESERVES.
THANK YOU. [ CONFERRING OF DEGREES ] IS [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS IS
THE FOURTH OF FIVE CEREMONYIES THAT WE’VE HAD THIS YEAR, AND OF
THE FOUR CEREMONIES, PROFESSOR JOHN STRADA HAS DONE THE NAMES
OF THREE OF THOSE FOUR. I DON’T THINK HE’S MISSED A NAME
AT ANY OF THEM. BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR
PROFESSOR STRADA. WELL DONE.
[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] THANK YOU VERY MUCH, PROFESSOR.
GRADUATES, THE MOMENT FOR WHICH YOU HAVE WORKED SO LONG AND SO
HARD IS NOW AT HAND. IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO,
PLEASE MOVE YOUR TASSELS FROM THE RIGHT TO THE LEFT.
CONGRATULATIONS! [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] IS THE FAMILY OF OUR GRADUATE
VACRY SIZEMORE HERE? ZACH, DO YOU HAVE FAMILY HERE?
WILL THEY PLEASE STAND UP? THE FAMILY OF GRADUATE SIZEMORE?
WILL CAPTAIN JOSHUA PITCHER FROM OUR MILITARY SCIENCE AND
LEADERSHIP DEPARTMENT HERE. HE WILL ISSUE THE OATH OF OFFICE
TO GRADUATE ZACHARY SIZEMORE.>>RAISE RUSH HOUR RIGHT HAND.
I — STATE YOUR NAME. HAVING BEEN APPOINTED AN OFFICER
IN THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES STATES, IN 2 GRADE OF THE GRADE
OF SECOND LIEUTENANT.
DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
UNITED STATES AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC,
THAT WILL BEAR TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO THE SAME.
I TABLE THIS OBLIGATION FREELY FREELY — TAKE THIS OBLIGATION
FREELY, WITHOUT ANY UNDUE INFLUENCE OR PURPOSE OF EVASION
EVASION^. THAT I WILL WELL AND FAITHFULLY
DISCHARGE THE DUTIES OF THE OFFICE WHICH I’M ABOUT TO ENTER.
SO HELP ME GOD. CONGRATULATIONS.
[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]>>COT GRANULATIONS, —
CONGRATULATIONS, SECOND LIEUTENANT SIZEMORE.
WE TAKE PRIDE IN THE FACT WE’RE A VERY VETERANS FRIENDY CAMPUS
HERE AT EKU. I’D LIKE TO ASK ALL OUR VETERANS
TO STAND AND REMAIN STANDING SO WE CAN RECOGNIZE YOUR SERVICE.
ALL VETERANS, WILL YOU PLEASE STAND?
[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>ALUMNI ARE SO VERY IMPORTANT
IN THE LIFE OF A UNIVERSITY, AND WE ARE BLESSED AT EASTERN TO
HAVE THE LOYAL SUPPORT OF MORE THAN 135,000 ALUMNI. HERE TO REPRESENT THE
INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION IS PRESIDENT OF THE ALUMNI
BOARD, MS. AMY JO GABEL, WHO WILL NOW OFFER GREETINGS TO OUR
NEWEST ALUMNI.>>GRADUATES, TODAY YOU’RE
JOINING A VERY SPECIAL GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS — MEN AND WOMEN
FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD WHO ARE ALUMNI TO THIS GREAT
INSTITUTION. THEY’VE BROUGHT HONOR TO EASTERN
BY DISTINGUISHING THEMSELVES IN THEIR CAREERS, IN THEIR
COMMUNITIES, BY DOING GREAT WORK AND SERVING OTHERS. IN YOUR TIME HERE AT EASTERN
KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY, I HOPE THAT IN ADDITION TO YOUR ACADEMICS,
YOU HAVE LEARNED THE IMPORTANCE OF SERVICE.
IT IS MY HOPE THAT AS YOU GO INTO YOUR COMMUNITIES AND INTO
THE WORKFORCE, THAT YOU’LL GIVE BACK WITH ACTS OF SERVICE.
AND THAT WHEN YOU ARE SETTLED INTO YOUR CAREER, YOU WILL
CONSIDER GIVING YOUR TIME, TALENTS, AND TREASURES BACK TO YOUR EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY
UNIVERSITY. BEING A GRADUATE OF THIS
INSTITUTION GIVES ME GREAT PRIDE AND I’M ALWAYS SHARING ABOUT THE
CAMPUS BEAUTIFUL. I HOPE THAT YOU’LL FIND THE
OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE WITH OTHERS ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE
HERE. NOW, SPRING 2018 GRADUATES,
WOULD YOU PLEASE STAND. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] BY VIRTUE OF THE DEGREE
CONFERRED UPON YOU BY THE FACULTY AND BOARD OF REGENTS OF
EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY, I HEREBY DECLARE YOU TO BE MEMBERS
OF THE EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI
ASSOCIATION, WITH ALL THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP.
CONGRATULATIONS, AND WELCOME. [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] YOU MAY BE SEATED.>>THANK YOU. BEFORE WE CONCLUDE, LET ME THANK
THOSE WHO HELPED PLAN AND EXECUTE TODAY’S CEREMONY.
ASSOCIATE DEAN ROSE PERRINE WHO LED THE PLANNING OF TODAY’S
CEREMONY, PLUS MANY OF THE FACULTY AND
STAFF FROM ACROSS THE COLLEGE WHO ARE HELPING IN VARIOUS WAYS.
I ALSO WANT TO THANK MY COLLEAGUES FROM THE SCHOOL OF
MUSIC FOR THEIR PARTICIPATION TODAY, PROFESSOR JEREMY
MULHOLLAND, CHAIR OF THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND DIRECTOR OF OUR
ORCHESTRA, AND DR. RICHARD WATERS, DIRECTOR OF CHORAL
ACTIVITIES. THANKS ARE DUE ALSO TO JILL
PRICE AND HER TEAM FROM CONFERENCING AND EVENTS, AND TO
TINA DAVIS AND HER TEAM FROM THE REGISTRAR’S OFFICE, WITHOUT WHOM
NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.
I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO OFFER A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO OUR
REGISTRAR. THIS IS TINA DAVIS’ LAST SECOND TO LAST COMMENCEMENT.
SHE HAS ONE MORE THIS AFTERNOON, AS SHE WILL TAKE HER LEAVE OF EK
EKU FOR A HARD-EARNED RETIREMENT RETIREMENT.
SHE HAS BEEN AN ADVOCATE FOR OUR STUDENTS, AN ALLY TO OUR
FACULTY, A VALUED COLLEAGUE, AND A DEAR FRIEND.
TINA, ON BEHALF OF ALL OF US, THANK YOU.
[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] THE FACULTY AND I WOULD LIKE TO
SAY GOODBYE ONE MORE TIME IMMEDIATELY AFTER WE CONCLUDE.WE
HAVE A RECEPTION AND PHOTO BACKDROPS AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO
TAKE A PICTURE OR TWO, SEE YOUR FACULTY MEMBERS AGAIN, AND ENJOY
SOME TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY. THE PHOTO BACKDROPS ARE LOCATED
WHERE YOU LINED UP THIS MORNING TO BEGIN THIS CEREMONY IN THE
FRED DARLING AUXILIARY GYMNASIUM.
TO OUR GUESTS, THIS AREA CAN BE REACHED FROM THE BUILDING
CONCOURSE ON EITHER SIDE. THE FACULTY AND I LOOK FORWARD
TO SEEING YOU THERE. AND NOW THE UNIVERSITY SINGERS,
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF DR. RICHARD WATERS, WILL PERFORM
“IRISH BLESSING.” MAY THE ROAD
RISE TO MEET YOU MAY THE WIND
BE ALWAYS AT YOUR BACK MAY GOD’S SUNSHINE WARM UPON YOUR FACE MAY THE RAINS
FALL SOFT UPON YOUR FIELDS AND UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN MAY GOD HOLD YOU MAY GOD HOLD YOU MAY GOD HOLD YOU. IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND PALM OF HIS HAND [ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ] [ APPLAUSE ]