“This is one of the days you’ll remember for the rest of your life,” Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, told 216 undergraduate and graduate students in two commencement ceremonies Friday, Dec. 14, in Ransdell Chapel.
In his charge to the graduates, Carter reminded the graduates of the university’s seal that contains the words “fellowship, leadership and scholarship.” He defined these words in a way that is applicable to the new lives of the graduates.
Carter acknowledged the nation’s need for fellowship is even greater because of the recent tragedies in Connecticut and Syria.
“We know that human tragedy has existed since the beginning of time, yet we still have to find a way to live in fellowship,” he said.
Carter also encouraged the graduates to live a life of leadership.
“When you take a person to a level they never thought they could achieve, that’s how you become a leader,” he said.
Carter challenged the graduates to become “lifelong learners."
“Scholarship doesn’t stop just because you have a degree. Commit yourself to these three pillars of Campbellsville University,” he said.
The graduates receiving degrees are as follows: 28 associate degrees in nursing; three associate of science; six bachelor of arts; two bachelor of music; 65 bachelor of science; 17 bachelor of social work; 18 bachelor of science in business administration; six master of arts in organizational leadership; 29 master of arts in special education; 22 master of business administration; a master of music in music performance; 12 master of theology; and seven master of science in counseling.
In the 2 o’clock ceremony, Kelsey Best of Harrodsburg, a graduate earning her bachelor’s degree in political science, responded to the president’s charge in a message to her fellow graduates about investing—in themselves, in others and the university that invested in them.
“God invested eternal salvation and love for us. Now that we hold this degree inhand, it is our duty as Christians to go out and invest in others as God invested in us,” she said.
She told the parable of the mustard seed to illustrate how with God’s help, we can achieve anything.
"God sent us into the world as the mustard seed. He placed each of us here at Campbellsville University, which is the soil in which we were planted,” she said. “Our professors and esteemed administration is the water and sun that gives us the energy and nutrients to grow and flourish. Now that we have grown into a strong tree, we now are set forth to use the knowledge in which was engrained into us and go out and invest in the world.”
DeMarcus Compton, a graduate earning his master’s of arts in special education degree, responded to the charge in the 4 p.m. ceremony by promising that he and hisclass will be lifelong leaders, take the love of Jesus Christ with them wherever they go and will become effective leaders by leading by example and seeking God’s guidance as they lead others.
“Through your guidance, we have learned to put others before ourselves and to set goals in order to reach higher achievement. We’ve been taught the value of scholarship, fellowship and leadership and will use this teaching to help lead our lives,” he said.
Paula Smith, director of Campbellsville University’s alumni relations, welcomed the graduates into the Campbellsville University Alumni Association. She encouraged the graduates to stay connected to the university.
“Reach out to alumni and allow them to open doors for you, and reach back to campus to share insights and encourage those who are yet to finish,” she said.
Dr. Mary Wilgus, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, gave the benediction for the 4 p.m. ceremony and read from the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Both ceremonies began with an invocation by Dr. Joseph Owens of Lexington, chair of the CU Board of Trustees.
Carter, who is serving in his 14th year as president, began the ceremony by welcoming the guests and graduates. He congratulated co-valedictorians Lauren Goodin of Columbia, who received a bachelor of science degree in health and physical education, and Susan Isherwood of Louisville, Ky., who received a bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary early childhood education.
Channelle McQueen of London, was salutatorian. She received a bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary early childhood education.
The 2 p.m. ceremony included students earning bachelor of science and the bachelor of science in business administration degrees. The 4 p.m. ceremony included students receiving the associate, bachelor of art, bachelor of music, bachelor of social work degrees and all master degrees.
Degrees are conferred upon completion of all academic requirements.