2006 graduation ceremonies held at colleges and universities

Baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies have been held in spring 2006 at a number of Presbyterian-related schools.

Baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies have been held in spring 2006 at a number of Presbyterian-related schools. They included:


Albertson College of Idaho, Caldwell, Idaho

Baccalaureate services will be held Friday, June 2, at 8 p.m. in the J.A. Albertson Activities Center. The featured speaker will be the Rev. Doug Bunnell, senior pastor at First Church, Bellingham, Wash. The Commencement will be held on Saturday, June 3 at 10 a.m. The commencement speakers include The Honorable Gerald F. Schroeder, Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court; he is a 1961 graduate of Albertson College; the student speaker, John T. Reuter, the editor of the student newspaper “The Coyote”. Those receiving honorary degrees will be: Kenneth C. Howell, outgoing chairman ACI Board of Trustees (class of 1981) and Chief Justice Schroeder.


Arcadia University, Glenside, Pa.

Arcadia held its commencement service for graduate degrees May 18. The following honorary degrees were conferred to the speakers: Lorene Cary, Doctor of Literature, Joseph L. Castle II (posthumous), Doctor of Laws. The undergraduate commencement ceremony was held May 19 at 10 a.m. Honorary degrees were conferred on the speakers: Alfred Uhry, Doctor of Letters and Rosemary Deniken Blankley, ’57, Doctor of Humanities.


Austin College, Sherman, Texas

The Baccalaureate sermon, “God and the Chaos Monster,” was given by Jim D. Johnson, pastor of First Church of Waco, Texas, May 13 in Sid Richardson Center of the Robert T. Mason Athletic-Recreation Complex. Johnson has been pastor and head of staff at First Church of Waco since 1982.

Graduation activities for the 330 members of the Austin College Class of 2006 were held May 13-14 on the campus. Another 28 students celebrated a later completion of the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. The Commencement address was presented by former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, a member of the Austin College Class of 1976. Admitted to the practice of law in 1979 following his graduation from the University of Texas School of Law, he worked with the Dallas City Attorney’s office, and became the city’s chief lobbyist in Austin, and in 1994, served as Texas Secretary of State.

The Commencement ceremony included the awarding of honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees to Johnson, Kirk, and Texas congressman Bob Hunter. A long-time resident of Abilene, Texas, Hunter was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1986 and has been voted into the House in each ensuing election. Hunter was also past executive vice president of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas.


Belhaven College, Jackson, Miss.

The commencement was held May 6 on campus at Thalia Mara Hall. The address was delivered by Joe White, president and owner of Kanakuk Kamps in Branson, Mo. The invocation was delivered by the Reverend Gerry A. Seale, D.D., general secretary and CEO of Evangelical Association of the Caribbean, in Barbados. The benediction was delivered by the Reverend Lynn Downing, senior pastor at Lake Osborne Church in Lake Worth, Fla. A Doctor of Christian Ministries (D. Char. Min., Honors Causa) degree was awarded to Joe White.


Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, N. J.

Commencement events begin with the Senior Barbecue on May 22. The Nurses’ Pinning Service will be May 24 at 2 p.m. at Church on the Green. The baccalaureate service will be May 24 at 4:30 p.m. at the same church. The commencement service will be May 25, 9:30 a.m. on the Quad. In addition to degrees conferred will be honorary degrees to the speakers: Doctor of Fine Arts to Geoffrey Holder, dancer, choreographer, actor, costume designer, director, and author; Doctor of Fine Arts to Carmen de Lavallade, dancer, choreographer, and actress. Doctor of Humane Letters to Richard S. Pechter, National Board of Directors and alumnus, Teach for America Chairman (ret.), Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette Financial Services. Doctor of Humane Letters to Marilyn Pfaltz, founding partner of P & R Associates, author, photographer and trustee emerita, Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children. Doctor of Humane Letters to Rick Ufford-Chase, Moderator — 216th General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), co-founder and co-director, BorderLinks ministry.


Carroll College, Waukesha, Wis.

The baccalaureate service was held on May 14. The commencement ceremony was later in the day. The keynote commencement speaker was Lance J. Herdegen, Director of Carroll College Institute for Civil War Studies. He also received at the ceremony the Doctor of Humane Letters.


Centre College, Danville, Ky.

The baccalaureate service was held May 21; John Ward, retiring Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs, was the speaker. The Commencement service was held later that same day with Gordon Gee, Chancellor of Vanderbilt University as the speaker. Gordon Gee received an honorary degree during the ceremony. Over the course of the year, the college has given honorary degrees to Elie Wiesel, author and Nobel Peace Prize-winner, in September; William Bowen, president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in October; and Jonathan Howe, the Executive Director of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, in January.


Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

The commencement service was held May 7 on the college’s Stewart Memorial Library mall. President James Phifer conferred Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Music, and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees on more than 290 graduates. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree. Gov. Romney recently garnered national attention with the enactment into law of his private, market-based health care plan to get everyone in Massachusetts insured by 2009. The college also conferred an honorary degree to the baccalaureate speaker, the Rev. Dr. Margaret Aymer-Oget. Four retiring Coe professors were honored with emeritus status: Alma A. Turechek Professor of Music, Dr. Jerry Owen; Joan and Abbott Lipsky Professor of Political Science, Dr. Margaret Haupt; Joanne M. Pochobradsky Professor of French, Dr. Jeannine Hammond; and Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Economics, Michael McDonald. The Baccalaureate service was May 6 and the speaker was the Rev. Dr. Margaret Aymer-Oget. Aymer-Oget is an assistant professor at the Interdenominational Theology Center in Atlanta. She teaches classes on the New Testament and is an ordained Presbyterian minister.


Cook College and Theological Seminary, Tempe, Ariz.

The two schools held a joint graduation service May 11 on the campus grounds.  The Rev. James Randall (Randy) Campbell, from Community Church in Coolidge, Ariz., was the guest speaker.


Davidson College, Davidson, N. C. held its commencement service May 14. President Robert F. Vagt offered brief remarks to the graduates. The baccalaureate service was May 13, in Davidson College Church. The Rev. John Howard Collett, senior pastor of Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn., delivered the sermon. His daughter, Lisa, was among senior students in the audience.


Davis and Elkins College, Elkins, W. Va.

Dr. Alice W. Brown, president of the Appalachian College Association, was the featured speaker during commencement ceremonies May 14 in the Harper-McNeeley Auditorium. The title of Dr. Brown’s address was “The Rest of Your Life: What to Expect Now that You Are a Graduate.” The president of ACA since 1993, Dr. Brown presides over the association’s 35-member consortium of private liberal arts colleges in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Dr. Brown began her career teaching high school English and coaching basketball before moving to college teaching at Appalachian State, Ohio University, Eastern Kentucky University, and the University of Kentucky. In recognition of her achievements in support of the educational mission of Davis & Elkins College and the other 34 members of the ACA, Davis & Elkins bestowed the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa to Brown during commencement ceremonies.


University of Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa

The university conferred degrees on 217undergraduates and 67 graduate students during its 154th commencement ceremony May 13 in the Stolz Sports Center. Catherine Dunn, BVM, Ph.D. delivered the commencement address, “Today is a Day of Celebration.” She was awarded the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Sr. Catherine has served as president of Clarke College for the past 22 years. She has served on the boards and executive committees of a number of the nation’s most important and influential educational organizations. The baccalaureate service for undergraduates was held May 12 at Westminster Church in Dubuque. The speaker was Dr. Roger Ebertz, chair, Department of Philosophy and Religion. The title of his remarks was “Just the Beginning.”


Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Fla.

A baccalaureate service was held May 20; the Commencement ceremony was May 21. The commencement speaker was Dr. Karen Brown Dunlap, president of The Poynter Institute.


Grove City College, Grove City, Pa.

The baccalaureate service was held May 19 in an outdoor ceremony on the Quad. The Rev. Dr. M. Craig Barnes addressed the 550 graduates. Barnes was raised in Long Island, New York graduating from King College and Princeton Theological Seminary. He has served parishes in Colorado, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C. In the fall of 2002, he became the Robert Meneilly Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and subsequently began his service as the installed pastor of the Shadyside Church in November 2003.

The commencement service was held May 20 in an outdoor ceremony on the Quad. Chief of Naval Operations and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral G. Michael Mullen was the commencement speaker. A native of Los Angeles, Calif., Mullen graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968. He received a Master of Science degree in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. Mullen has served in Allied, Joint and Navy positions, overseas and in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. His most recent operational assignment was Commander, Joint Force Command Naples/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe. Mullen became the 28th Chief of Naval Operations on July 22, 2005. Honorary degrees were given to Admiral Mullen, a Doctor of Science, and to David Lascell, Esq., a Doctor of Laws.


Hanover College, Hanover, Ind.

Hanover College will celebrate its 173rd commencement May 27 at the Point on campus after the baccalaureate service. The approximately 200 members of the class of 2006 will be presented with diplomas. The Rev. Emily Anderson, head pastor at the New Providence Church in Maryville, Tenn., will deliver the baccalaureate sermon. She has served as head pastor at the church since 1999. Two individuals will be honored during the ceremony. Hanover President Russell Nichols will confer the honorary degree, Doctor of Science, upon Dr. Joan Leitzel, retired president of the University of New Hampshire. Nichols also will confer the degree, Doctor of Laws, upon the Honorable Boyce F. Martin, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals judge and recently-retired chairman of the Hanover Board of Trustees. Leitzel, a 1958 Hanover graduate, served as the president at New Hampshire from 1996 to 2002. Martin, who retired in February after serving as the chairman of Hanover’s Board of Trustees since 1998, has been a member of the college’s board since 1984. He served as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (Sixth Circuit) from 1996 to 2003.


Illinois College, Jacksonville, Ill.

Harold Holzer, one of the nation’s leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and political culture of the Civil War era gave the commencement address during Illinois College’s 172nd Commencement Exercise on May 21.  A prolific writer and lecturer, Holzer serves as co-chairman of the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He was appointed to the commission by President Clinton in September 2000 and elected co-chairman the following year. In addition, Holzer is founding vice chairman and a regular lecturer at The Lincoln Forum and serves on the board of directors of the Ulysses S. Grant Association. Nearly 240 candidates for graduation participated in the 3 p.m. ceremony. The college also conferred the Doctor of Humane Letters degree on Holzer, Julie Cellini and Ronald Wallace. Mrs. Cellini is chairwoman of the Illinois Historic Preservation Board of Trustees and member of the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Wallace, a 1958 graduate of Illinois College, is the former president and chief executive officer of Union Illinois Company. The Belleville resident is retiring from the Illinois College Board of Trustees, a position he’s held since being elected in 1996. Dr. Padit Takerngrangsarit, the father of graduating senior Booraya and president of Payap University in Thailand, provided the opening invocation at the ceremony.

Miriam “Mim” Pride was the keynote speaker at baccalaureate services the morning of May 21 in Rammelkamp Chapel. She is the president of Blackburn College, the first female to serve in that role.

Commencment weekend festivities  also included the annual Osage Orange Picnic on May 19. State and national dignitaries, as well as members of the college community participated in a commemoration ceremony on the east lawn of Beecher Hall celebrating the National Park Service’s recent designation of the building as a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site. 


Jamestown College, Jamestown, N. D.

The baccalaureate service was held May 7. Dr. Mark Joy gave the sermon. The commencement service was also held May 7. Jeffrey Frommelt, chair of the Board of Trustees of Jamestown was the speaker.


King College, Bristol, Tenn.

The baccalaureate service was held May 6 in the sanctuary of First Church. Dr. James S. McClanahan, associate professor of Bible and religion, delivered the address, “… And Now You Must Go.”

The 139th commencement exercise was held May 6 on the campus oval. More than 180 students participated in the ceremony, including those who completed their degrees in December 2005 and those who will complete their degrees in August 2006. The Commencement address was delivered by Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District. Within her first few months in Washington, Blackburn was named a “freshman to watch” by National Journal, while Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, called her a “rising star.” King College presented the honorary Doctorate of Law degree to Blackburn.

Other graduation events included the nurses’ pinning ceremony at the chapel. This year, the School of Nursing had 61 graduates. Of the graduates, 34 completed the traditional program while 27 are registered nurses who completed their Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.


Lafayette College, Easton, Pa.

Lafayette College’s 171st Commencement exercises were held May 20. Delivering the commencement speech and receiving an honorary degree was Deborah Bial, founder and president of the Posse Foundation. Also receiving honorary degrees were Gregory Farrington, president of Lehigh University; John Hope Franklin, Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University; and Mulgrew Miller, internationally acclaimed jazz pianist. The baccalaureate service was held May 20 featuring an address by Robert I. Weiner, Lafayette’s Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Professor of History.


Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Mo.

More than 2,000 degrees were conferred at Lindenwood University’s commencement ceremonies in 2006. Graduate students received their diplomas during the graduate student commencement and baccalaureate service on May 19. Undergraduates received their degrees on May 20. Both ceremonies were held in the Hyland Performance Arena on the Lindenwood campus. The Rev. David M. Blunt, pastor at Church on the Rock in St. Peters, Mo., was the baccalaureate speaker. Robert N. Wildrick, president, director and CEO of Joseph A. Bank Clothiers, Inc., gave the commencement address.


Lyon College, Batesville, Ark.

The Lyon College commencement was held May 6 in the Couch Garden on the Lyon campus. Dr. Richard H. Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges, was the guest speaker. Dr. Ekman and Dr. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president of George Washington University, were awarded honorary degrees by the college. The baccalaureate service was held May 5 in Brown Chapel. The Rev. W.W. “Bill” Branch, General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Arkansas, was the speaker.


Macalester College, St. Paul, Minn.

Aaron Brown, the longtime broadcaster and Minnesota native, was the keynote speaker at Macalester’s 117th Commencement May 13 on the lawn outside Old Main. Brown is perhaps best known for his coverage of the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Within an hour of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center, Brown was anchoring on CNN from a rooftop in New York. He has won three Emmy Awards, a duPont-Columbia Award and a New York Film Festival World Medal, among other honors. Honorary degrees at commencement were presented to two alumni: writer Charles Baxter ’69 and theologian Beverly Wildung Harrison ’54. They both received Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. Baxter is an author and taught English at the University of Michigan from 1989-2002 and became the Edelstein-Keller Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota in 2003. Harrison is Carolyn Williams Beaird Professor Emerita of Christian Ethics at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she taught for more than 30 years. Her academic work has been in Christian ethics and liberation studies. Neely Anne Crane-Smith ’06, a political science major from Albuquerque, N.M., was the senior speaker. Commencement ceremonies included an academic procession led by the Macalester Pipe Band, flag bearers representing 34 countries of the 64 graduating international seniors plus the U.S. and U.N. flags, faculty in academic robes and 405 seniors.


Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio.

Muskingum’s baccalaureate service was held May 6 at 10:00 at the college’s Recreation Center. The speaker was Robert Warner, the Sixth Archivist of the United States. Undergraduate Commencement was held May 6 at the College’s Recreation Center. The speaker was Desiree Caldwell, executive director of the Concord Museum. The graduate commencement service was held May 4 at the college’s Recreation Center. The speaker was Judge Edward J. Sargus Jr., United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio.


University of the Ozarks, Clarksville, Ark.

The university held its baccalaureate service May 13 at the Raymond Munger Memorial Chapel. The speaker was The Rev. Dr. William Rail, alumnus and retired Presbyterian minister. The Commencement ceremony was held that day on the campus mall. The speaker was The Hon. Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas Governor and U.S. Senator from Arkansas.


Peace College, Raleigh, N. C.

Peace College had its commencement ceremony May 13. This year’s speaker was Ping Fu, CEO of Geomagic, Inc., a Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based firm that specializes in software that creates 3-D images for use in manufacturing, medical, and other fields. Ms. Fu was named Inc. magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005.


Schreiner University, Kerrville, Texas.

Dr. Diana K. Comuzzie, Schreiner University Professor of Biology and Dean of the Trull School of Science & Mathematics, delivered the commencement address at graduation ceremonies held May 6. She has taught at Schreiner for the past 13 years. Comuzzie was awarded the Margaret Hosler Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Harriett Garrett Award for Outstanding Teaching, the Elmore Whitehurst Award for Creative Teaching and the Advisor of the Year Award. The 2006 graduating ceremony was Schreiner University’s 23rd commencement since becoming a four-year school in 1984. One hundred and eleven students received bachelor’s degrees and 16 received master’s degrees in education.

The Rev. Buckner Fanning served as baccalaureate speaker at a worship service on May 6. Fanning served as pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio for 42 years.


St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Laurinburg, N. C.

The baccalaureate service was held May 12 at Avinger Auditorium. The speaker was the Rev. Joseph S. Harvard III. The commencement ceremony was held May 13 at DeTamble Library Terrace. Guest speaker, Price Gwynn, CEO of Westminster John Knox Press addressed the 124 graduates. Honorary degrees were conferred on The Rev. Harvard, honorary Doctor of Divinity and Gwynn, honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.


Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas.

Trinity University held two commencement exercises May 13, conferring degrees upon 83 graduate students and 508 undergraduates. Walter R. Huntley (’71, ’73), a member of the Trinity University Board of Trustees, delivered the commencement address to undergraduates. John D. Thornton ’87, member of the Trinity University Board of Visitors and general partner in Austin Ventures, addressed graduate students. In addition to Mr. Huntley, a graduating senior spoke: Maurine C. Evans of Birmingham, Ala., an outstanding graduating senior.  Mr. Huntley, president of Huntley & Associates in Atlanta, an urban affairs consulting firm, was the Trinity University Distinguished Alumni in 1996. In 2005, he was inducted into the Trinity University Athletics Hall of Fame. Mr. Thornton’s firm is one of the nation’s largest venture capital firms that focuses primarily on information technology businesses. Before joining Austin Ventures in 1990, Mr. Thornton was with McKinsey & Co., where he served clients in the United States and Europe. He earned a B.A. summa cum laude in economics from Trinity and earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Mr. Thornton is a founding board member of the Austin Entrepreneur’s Foundation.


Warren Wilson College, Asheville, N. C.

Doug Orr, president of Warren Wilson College for the past 15 years, delivered the commencement address May 13. President Orr is retiring effective July 1.


Waynesburg College, Waynesburg, Pa.

Waynesburg College’s 156th commencement exercise was held May 14. Graduates and their parents met for the baccalaureate service on the front lawn of Miller Hall earlier that day. Martha Perry, associate executive director of the McCune Foundation, delivered the baccalaureate address, “Wholeheartedly Following the Lord.” Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett delivered the annual commencement address on the front lawn of Miller Hall. His address was entitled “Do the Right Thing.”


Whitworth College, Spokane, Washington
The undergraduate commencement service was May 14. The speaker was Whitworth College President William P. Robinson, Ph.D., speaking on “The Fools Against the Giants.” The commencement service conferring graduate degrees was May 13. The speaker was Whitworth Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael K. Le Roy, Ph.D., speaking on “The Right Side of the Boat.” The baccalaureate speaker was Professor of Political Studies Julia Stronks, J.D., Ph.D., speaking on “Love God/Love your Neighbor.”