WILSON, N.C. — Mother’s Day proved a perfect backdrop as graduating students’ families joined the Barton College community on the campus green for Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 13.
Some 220 seniors participated in the 110th annual commencement exercises. Dr. Norval C. Kneten presided over his ninth commencement program as president of Barton College. Dr. John P. Marsden, provost and vice president for academic affairs, presented the graduating class.
Robert A. Ingram, retired chairman and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline and a general partner in Hatteras Venture Partners, delivered the commencement address. Ingram was presented with the Doctor of Science degree, honoris causa, by Barton College during the commencement exercises.
Participating in this year’s commencement ceremony were students who completed their baccalaureate degree requirements in December 2010 and May 2011, as well as candidates who expect to fulfill requirements over the summer.
The three highest honors presented to Barton students: the Hilley Cup, Coggins Cup, and the Hemby Leadership Cup, were awarded during the program. The Hilley Cup, presented annually to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative grade point average, was also awarded to Tracey Reneé Pugh of Wilson, who graduated summa cum laude with Bachelor of Science degrees in Elementary Education (K-6) and Special Education: General Curriculum (K-12). The Coggins Cup, presented annually to the student voted best all-around by the Barton faculty and staff, was awarded to Emily Marie Humphreys of Fuquay Varina, who graduated magna cum laude with Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and Biology. The Hemby Leadership Cup, 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, was also awarded to Emily Marie Humphreys.
In celebration of teaching excellence in the classroom and faculty commitment to student success, the Jefferson-Pilot Faculty Member of the Year awards were presented to Dr. Neal M. Bengtson, professor of business, and Dr. Jennifer O’Donoghue, associate professor of physical education and sport studies, and director of athletic training education. The awards include a cash stipend for international study in conjunction with Barton’s international emphasis.
Other official announcements included two retired faculty recognitions; D. Jane Bostick was named Professor Emerita of Music and J. Christian Wilson was named Professor Emeritus of Art.
Alexandra E. Minton of Burlington, senior class president, addressed the graduating class and also offered appreciation for the support and guidance from professors, staff, families, and friends on behalf of her fellow classmates. Whit D. Coolbaugh, class of 2002, president of the Barton College Alumni Association and its Alumni Board, brought greetings to graduating seniors on behalf of the Alumni Association.
The Reverend Hollie E. Woodruff, chaplain of the college, officiated at the baccalaureate service and delivered the sermon on Sunday morning.
Other commencement festivities during the weekend included a luncheon for seniors and their parents on Saturday, hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Norval C. Kneten, at the Barton-Graves House. The pinning ceremony for the graduates of the School of Nursing was held on Friday evening, May 11, in Howard Chapel.
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