CU graduates largest class ever with 647 students

CU graduates largest class ever with 647 students

                                                                                                                                                              May 4, 2013
                                                                                                                                             For Immediate Release

Dr. Joseph Owens, left, chair of the CU Board of Trustees, and Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of
Campbellsville University, lead graduate students to commencement. (Campbellsville University
Photo by Linda Waggener)


By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. -- "This is one of the most memorable days in your life. Many of you have sacrificed a great deal to arrive at this occasion, and we are all here to honor your commitment and your achievement,” Dr. Joe Early Sr. told Campbellsville University graduates.

Campbellsville University graduated 170 master’s students and 262 undergraduate students on May 3 and 4, respectively, along with 215 December graduates, for the largest-ever record 647 students receiving their diplomas in the 2012-2013 academic year.

In Friday night’s graduate ceremony, Henry Lee, president, chief executive officer and secretary of the board of directors of Taylor County Bank, received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.

In Saturday’s ceremony, graduating senior Jordan Johnson of Russellville, Ky., received the student Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. Also, Garrett Baker of Bowling Green, Ky., was sworn into the United States Army by Lt. Col. Scott Walker after he received his diploma.

In a ceremony following commencement, Baker received his official commission into the United States Army from his father, Dr. John Baker. At the reception hosted by the School of Business and Economics, Garrett was surrounded by family, friends and one he called, “the prettiest girl in the world,” fiancé and fellow grad Summer Rines of Louisville.

Dr. Joe Early Sr., vice president for academic affairs emeritus of the University of the Cumberlands and who now serves as special assistant to the president and senior vice president for academic affairs at Campbellsville University, received the Campbellsville University Leadership Award.

He delivered the commencement address and told graduates CU “mentored and nurtured you” and the institution “has changed because of your presence, and you will change it again because of your absence.

“You are important, and your presence or your absence changes everything,” he said.

He talked of being a “turtle” or a “clam,” and he urged the graduates to be turtles – people who stick out their necks for everyone - and not clams who stick their foot in people’s paths.
“You just be the best you can be,” he said.

Dr. Joseph Owens, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Lexington and chair of the CU Board of Trustees, used the book of Esther from the Bible to illustrate to graduates to not “lose sight of our assignment.”

He said he is so proud, especially lately, to be a part of “such an awesome university” where CU has used God-fearing people - especially president Dr. Michael V. Carter - who leads the institution in powerful ways to ensure there is an atmosphere of scholarship and fellowship.

He told the students that CU has made a “life changing impact on your life.” The audience gave him a standing ovation for his comments.

He urged the students, when they get into the world in positions of pastors, teachers, etc., to not lose sight of their assignment to be a servant leader and be transformed by God to go forth and be a servant instrument to change lives around the world.

“You were brought here with purposeful intentionality,” he said.

He said there are three tasks that must be done to ensure we don’t lose sight of our assignment – see the big picture, seek spiritual preparation and sacrifice self.

Owens was presented the Campbellsville University Leadership Award by Carter and Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs.

In his charge to the graduates, Carter, at both ceremonies, reminded graduates of the university’s seal that contains the words “fellowship, leadership and scholarship.” He defined these words in a way he said is applicable to the new lives of the graduates.

Carter said the nation’s need for fellowship is even greater because of recent tragedies in Boston and across the world.

Ye Wei of China, known as Vicky, takes a picture of her and Dr. Michael V. Carter to post on Face-
book to send to her family and friends at the undergraduate commencement. (Campbellsville
University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

“We must learn to live together,” he said. “We must live in harmony and respect all people.”

He said Christian servant leaders are very important in the world and we must be committed learners to face incredible roles in the future. He said there have been 250 decisions for Christ at CU this academic year, with more to come.

In Friday’s ceremony, graduate Shajuana Ditto of Brandenburg, Ky., said, in response to Carter’s charge to the graduates,

“Because of the provision of a quality Christian education, we are better servants, equipped leaders and advanced visionaries who will change the world.”

Maribeth Milburn of Lawrenceburg, Ky., urged the undergraduate students by focusing on the university’s theme of “find your calling,” and said,

“As we live out our calling, we will do this in fellowship with one another. No matter who we may come in contact with, their background or beliefs, we will find a way to live at peace and fellowship with them just as Jesus has called us to do.”

Valedictorians of the undergraduate graduating class were Erin Hope Alston of Campbellsville; Courtney Allison Claywell of Albany, Ky.; Jordan Lee Johnson of Russellville, Ky.; Troy Evans Logsdon of Shelbyville, Ky.; Maribeth McKee Milburn of Lawrenceburg, Ky.; Sarah Katherine Theimer of Beavercreek, Ohio; and Kaela Nicole Vessels of Vine Grove, Ky.

Singing under the undergraduate commencement were from left: Brandon Todd and his wife, Gencie
Todd of Somerset, Ky., and Carrie Wohlschlegel of Shepherdsville, Ky. (Campbellsville University
Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

The 262 graduates receiving degrees Saturday are as follows: 165 bachelor of science degrees, 34 bachelor of science in business administration, 17 bachelor of social work, 15 bachelor of arts, 28 associate degrees and three bachelor of music.

Friday’s 170 degrees consisted of 45 teacher learner master of arts in special education, 22 master of social work, 22 master of arts in special education, 19 master of science in counseling, 17 master of business administration, 16 master of arts in organizational leadership, 14 master of theology, five teacher learner master of arts in education, four master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages, three master of music in performance, a master of music in music education, a master of music in conducting and a master of arts in music.

Paula Smith, director of Campbellsville University’s alumni relations, welcomed the graduates into the Campbellsville University Alumni Association. She encouraged graduates to always be a part of Campbellsville University.

Dr. Joe Early Jr., assistant professor of theology, gave the benediction for the Friday ceremony, and Dr. Rick Corum, chair of the faculty forum and professor of business administration, gave Saturday’s benediction.

Dr. Joseph Owens gave Friday’s invocation, and Dr. Brenda Priddy, dean of the School of Education and professor of education, gave Saturday’s invocation.

CU Sound, directed by John Rausch, performed Friday night along with Dr. Reese Land, associate professor of music, trumpeter, and Dr. Wesley Roberts, professor of music, organist, with Heather Heim, a graduate student from Big Clifty, Ky., singing.

The CU Brass Ensemble performed at Saturday’s commencement, and Dr. Mark Bradley, professor of music, led the congregational hymns at both ceremonies.

Degrees are conferred upon completion of all academic requirements.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is


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