CU Helps Graduate Student Get To Her Commencement When Car Breaks Down

CU Helps Graduate Student Get To Her Commencement When Car Breaks Down

Dec. 17, 2009
For Immediate Release


By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator


CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Debra Dean of Salem, Ind. almost missed her master’s commencement at Campbellsville University, but, due to some helpful CU staff, she made it.

     Dean was scheduled to receive her master of arts in special education degree Dec. 11, and she was traveling from Salem, Ind. with her sister and brother-in-law to attend the ceremony.  

   While traveling down Ky. 210, approximately two miles from the Taylor County line, their car broke down.

     Dean called Dr. Brenda Priddy, dean of the School of Education, and Priddy called Kyle Davis, director of campus safety and security, asking if there was anything the university could do to help. 
















Debra Dean, right, of Salem, Ind., almost didn’t make it to commencement at Campbellsville University Dec. 11. Her car broke down on the way, and Campbellsville University gave her a commencement present by coming to get her and her family in a CU van. At left, waiting to line up for commencement, is Sylvia Sexton of Stanford, Ky. Both received their master of arts degrees in special education (learning and behavior disorders). (Campbellsville University Photo by Ashley Zsedenyi)

   Davis said he was able to “commandeer” a Campbellsville University van thanks to Julie Caldwell, administrative assistant in the Office of Special Projects.  

   “We knew it would get cold, and we tried to pick them up as soon as possible,” Davis said. “We were able to pick them up and have them back 30 minutes prior to graduation.”

     Dean, who was an online student but who had come to the campus for several meetings and teaching sessions, said, “I was in a major panic and disbelief that my car would break down at that very important time.”  

    “Marion Hall took my brother-in-law to get us some coffee and snacks to pacify us until my husband arrived. Campus security was also so kind as to allow us to stay in the commons area over by the bookstore, which, by the way, is a very comfortable room with that nice fireplace,” she said.  

   Dean said Hall, who is director of special projects, went home and came back to make sure they were okay.  

   “My family was very impressed at the hospitality of all the CU faculty and administrators,” she said.  

Debra Dean, right, receives her diploma from Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, after having broken down in her car on the way to commencement. (Campbellsville University Photo by Ashley Zsedenyi)

    “I cannot say enough about Kyle Davis and what he did to assist this student and her family,” Priddy said. “Kudos to Marion Hall as well for checking on this family for us!”

   Davis said, “I just felt graduation was an opportunity she shouldn’t miss, and we had an opportunity to make that happen even in a time of her ‘despair.’”

     “With her being so far out of town, I was worried more for them being stranded in the cold for such a long time. We were fortunate we made it back in time,” he said.

    Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 3,006 students who represent 97 Kentucky counties, 30 states and 37 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South, tied for fifth in “most international students” and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in baccalaureate colleges in the South. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.   

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