WILSON, N.C. – Roger Benjamin, Ph.D., president and Chief executive officer for the Council for Aid to Education (CAE), will be the featured speaker at the 108th annual commencement exercises of Barton College, scheduled for Sunday, May 23 on center campus at 1:30 p.m. Wilson Gymnasium is the rain site. Dr. Norval C. Kneten will preside over his seventh commencement program as president of Barton College. Dr. Terrence L. Grimes, vice president for academic affairs, will present the graduating class of approximately 220 seniors.

Dr. Benjamin will receive the Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, from Barton College during this year’s commencement.

Participating in this year’s commencement ceremony will be students who completed their baccalaureate degree requirements in December 2009 and May 2010, 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.

Dr. Phillip H. Warren, class of 1971, outgoing 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 Hollie E. Woodruff, chaplain of the college, will officiate at the service. The Reverend Terry Harper, co-pastor of First Christian Church in Greenville, a Barton College alumnus and father of graduating senior Peter Harper, will deliver the sermon.

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 22 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 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at First United Methodist Church.

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

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