WILSON, N.C. — Some 253 seniors will participate in the 105th annual commencement exercises of Barton College, scheduled for Sunday, May 20 on center campus at 1:30 p.m. Wilson Gymnasium is the rain site. Dr. Norval C. Kneten will preside over his fourth commencement program as president of Barton College. Dr. Terrence L. Grimes, vice president for academic affairs, will present the graduating class.

Alumnus Maurice Bélanger of Colon, Republic of Panama, will deliver the commencement address. He is the president of Panama Multiservices Corporation, a real estate services business, and a strategic alliance partner of Palmetto Realty. His company is dedicated to facilitating a seamless transition to the newcomers coming to live in Panama. He is a licensed real estate broker, a certified public accountant and does maritime business consulting. Bélanger established Panama Multiservices Corporation following his retirement from Boyd Steamship Corporation, a ships agency in Panama. During his 37-year tenure with Boyd, he served in many roles including vice president, chief financial officer, and part owner of the corporation.

Belanger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Barton College (then Atlantic Christian College) in 1964. He completed a Master of Business Administration degree in 1966 from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Upon graduation from A.C.C., Bélanger was awarded the Faculty Cup, now known as the Coggins Cup and, in 1998, he was again recognized by his alma mater with the Alumni Achievement Award in International Business.

Participating in this year’s commencement ceremony will be students who completed their baccalaureate degree requirements in December 2006 and May 2007, as well as candidates who expect to fulfill requirements over the summer. The three highest honors presented to Barton students: the Coggins Cup, the Hilley Cup, and the Hemby Leadership Cup, will be awarded. The Coggins Cup is presented annually to the student voted best all-around by the Barton faculty and staff. The Hilley Cup is presented annually to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative grade point average. The Hemby Leadership Cup is presented to the graduating senior, who in the estimation of the college community (including students, faculty and staff) has demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout a career at Barton College.

The Jefferson-Pilot Faculty Member of the Year awards will also be presented. The awards, given annually to two faculty members, include a cash stipend for international study in conjunction with Barton’s Global Focus international emphasis.

Dr. Phillip H. Warren, class of 1971, president of the Barton College Alumni Association and its Alumni Board, will bring greetings to graduating seniors on behalf of the Alumni Association.

Barton’s Commencement Day program will begin with the baccalaureate sermon Sunday morning at 11 a.m. in Howard Chapel. The Reverend Laura E. Hutchinson, chaplain of the college, will deliver the address. Lunch will be served in the Hamlin Student Center Dining Hall from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at no charge for seniors and $5.00 each for family members and guests.

The Commencement festivities will include a luncheon for seniors and their parents on Saturday afternoon, May 19 from noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Norval C. Kneten at the Barton-Graves House. The pinning ceremony for the graduates of the School of Nursing will follow at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening at First United Methodist Church.

Questions? Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.