Campbellsville University graduates 411 students May 13 and 14 in three ceremonies

Campbellsville University graduates 411 students May 13 and 14 in three ceremonies

May 14, 2016

For Immediate Release


Shelby Lee Mattingly of Versailles, Ky. smiles as she enters Campbellsville University’s Powell
Athletic Center for her commencement. She was one of the class speakers responding to
president Michael V. Carter’s charge to the graduates. (Campbellsville Photo by Jordan

By Joan C. McKinney, coordinating director

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Dr. Joseph L. Owens, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, urged Campbellsville University graduates to “Don’t just stand there, do something,” as he spoke at commencement Saturday, May 14 in Powell Athletic Center.

A total of 411 undergraduate and graduate students in three commencement ceremonies Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 were given their diplomas. The 2015-16 academic year produced 642 Campbellsville University graduates.

Owens, who graduated in 1977 from Campbellsville University, told the graduates, “This is not a time to stand still nor to allow fear or you to be so settled in your life to dampen the momentum of the journey.”

He spoke from Exodus’ third and fourth chapters which told of Moses’ “commencement” when he was nudged by God to step into the next phase of his journey.

“God knew Moses was ready, and God knows you are ready for your Commencement Day,” Owens said.

He urged the graduates to clarify their calling, confirm their commitment and commence with courage.

“This is Holy Ground at Campbellsville University,” he said. “God will be with you as you continue to be Christian servant leaders.”

Dr. Joseph L. Owens, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, was the commencement speaker for the May 14 ceremonies. He also received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.  (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)

Owens also received the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award at the Friday night master’s commencement in Ransdell Chapel. At the Saturday morning ceremony, 2016 graduate Kristen Nichole Jacob of Lexington received the student Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.


Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, urged the students to thank
someone who had helped them along their journey. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)


Dr. Michael V. Carter, who is in his 17th year as president of Campbellsville University, called commencement “the highest day in the life of a university.”


He said Campbellsville University has had a record-setting spring enrollment, and he said graduates of Campbellsville University graduate with less debt, on average, than any other academic institution in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


In his charge to the graduates at each ceremony, Carter asked the graduates to thank someone who has helped them along their journey to receive their degree.


Cortni Cruse of Lexington, Ala. waits to receive her diploma. She majored in
mass communication/broadcast and digital media. (Campbellsville University Photo by
Jordan Alves)

He spoke of the importance of the university’s seal featuring fellowship, leadership and scholarship.

“Life changes when you come to Campbellsville University,” he said. “Go forth and change the world with the spirit of Christ.”


In the Friday ceremony, Kristen Jean Trottier of Lebanon gave the response to Carter’s charge. “Campbellsville University has taught each of us the skills and knowledge we need to be servant leaders,” she said. “And, our life experiences have taught us all that the future is not something that we find. Turns out, the future is something that we create.”


Shelby Lee Mattingly, a 2016 graduate from Versailles, told her classmates at the Saturday morning ceremony that the “world is your classroom. You are ready.”


She called Campbellsville University a “unique and special place” where “creative ideas bloom and you make life-long friends.”   


Meg Brown, a senior from Russellville, Ky., said, in her response to Carter’s charge at the Saturday noon ceremony, “Today, we celebrate. Today, we step forward thankful for who we have been in this place and who we are to be as we go on. Having found our calling, fellow graduates, let us live a life worthy of this calling.”


Alejando Soriano from Spain shows where he’s from on a wooden globe in front of
Campbellsville University’s Montgomery Library. (Campbellsville University Photo by
Tomomi Sato)

Co-valedictorians of the May 2016 graduating class were Holly Michelle Bowles of Louisville, Ky.; Clayton Drake Brooks of Bardstown, Ky.; Justin Wade Cave of Campbellsville, Ky.; Josh Robert Eastridge of Campbellsville, Ky.; Hannah Marie Erwin of Scottsville, Ky.;


Sarah Michelle Hagan of West Lafayette, Ind.; Casey Brooke Hunt of Mt. Vernon, Ky.; Amber Danielle Hurm of Philpot, Ky.; Rebecca Camille Jantzen of Brandenburg, Ky.; and Emily Marie Kamenish of Louisville, Ky.


Salutatorian was Mallory Joelle Vest of Artesia, N.M.


Emily Meadows, right, of Louisville, Ky. gives Kari Green, also of Louisville, Ky., a hug at
Campbellsville University’s Commencement. (Campbellsville University Photo by Jordan


The graduates receiving degrees are as follows: 21 associate degrees in nursing; nine associate of science; 16 bachelor of arts; one bachelor of music; 156 bachelor of science; 22 bachelor of social work; 46 bachelor of science in business administration;


Twelve bachelor of science in nursing; six teacher leader master of arts in education; one master of arts in music; nine master of arts arts in special education; 15 master of arts in school improvement; three master of arts in sport management; 12 teacher leader master of arts in special education;


Twenty-two master of business administration; two master of music in conducting; six master in marriage and family therapy; seven master in management and leadership; five master of music in performance; 27 master of social work and 13 master of theology.     


Degrees are conferred upon completion of all academic requirements.


Clayton Brooks, left, of Bardstown, Ky., and Shane Buchanan of Ireland turn their tassels as
Campbellsville University graduates. (Campbellsville University Photo by Jordan Snider)


Benji Kelly, vice president for development, installed the graduates into the Alumni Association which is made up of about 11,000 Campbellsville University graduates.


“As a graduate you represent which that is good and great about the university. Your past accomplishments, your future achievements, the way in which you live, and the values by which you live will reflect upon the educational values of Campbellsville University,” Kelly said.



Josh Vincent of Louisville, Ky., left, and Savannah Workman of Fort Gay, W.Va. talk before
receiving their degrees at Campbellsville University’s Commencement. (Campbellsville University
Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

Kelly asked the graduates to do three tasks: display their diploma with pride, help recruit students and help continue a trend of record setting enrollment and make a gift in support of the university.


Dr. Donna Hedgepath vice president for academic affairs, presented the graduates. Dr. Joseph L. Owens, chair of the CU Board of Trustees, gave the address at both Saturday ceremonies.


Dr. Wesley Roberts, professor of music, played the organ at the Friday ceremony, and the CU Brass Ensemble played at the Saturday ceremonies. Special music at the Friday ceremony was given by Junjie Piao, violinist, and Hsing-Yi Tsai, pianist.


Dr. Tony Cunha, dean of the School of Music and associate professor of music, led the congregational music at the Friday and Saturday noon ceremony, and Dr. Mark Bradley, professor of music, led the congregational music at the 9 a.m. Saturday ceremony.


Dr. Helen Mudd, professor of social work, gave the invocation at the Friday night ceremony, and Dr. Jason Garrett, associate professor of communication, chair of the faculty forum, gave the benediction.


Dr. Beverly Ennis, dean of the School of Education and associate professor of education, gave the invocation at the 9 a.m. Saturday ceremony, and Garrett gave the benediction.


Dr. Jeanette Parker, associate professor for academic affairs and professor of psychology, gave the invocation at the noon Saturday ceremony, and Garrett gave the benediction.


Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is


Dr. Lisa Fulks, assistant professor of education/special education, waits to go into the master’s
ceremony in Ransdell Chapel. (Campbellsville University Photo by Tomomi Sato)


Jo Ann Harris of Campbellsville, Ky. is caught in a pensive moment at her master’s graduation.
She received a teacher leader master of arts in special education degree. (Campbellsville University
Photo by Tomomi Sato)



Michael Ducharm of Pleasureville, Ky. waves during Campbellsville University’s
Commencement. (Campbellsville University Photo by Kasey Ricketts)

Joshua Williams of India looks back during the Senior Walk. (Campbellsville University Photo
by Tomomi Sato)



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