WILSON, N.C. — May 14, 2016 — The sun shone brightly on graduates and their families as they gathered with the Barton College community on center campus for Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 14.
Two hundred and thirty-seven seniors participated in the 114th annual commencement exercises. Dr. Douglas N. Searcy presided over his first commencement program as president of Barton College. Dr. Gary Daynes, provost and vice president for academic affairs, presented the graduating class. Gregg A. DeMar, chair of the Barton College Board of Trustees, presented the Board’s Approval of the Graduating Class.
DeMar, a retired executive of IBM, delivered the commencement address. He served as the managing director in the Communications Sector for the IBM Corporation in New York until his retirement in 2010. During his most recent appointment at IBM, he held overall responsibility for leading and integrating IBM business activities across all IBM units in support of a Fortune 10 Communications Industry Corporate Client and its international affiliates. A retired IBM business executive, DeMar has served as chair of the Barton College Board of Trustees since 2011. He has served on the College’s Board of Trustees for 21 years.
DeMar was awarded the Doctor of Business degree, honoris causa, from Barton College during the commencement ceremonies.
Participating in this year’s commencement ceremony were seniors who completed their baccalaureate degree requirements in December 2015 and May 2016, as well as seniors who expect to fulfill requirements over the summer. Also participating were graduates of the Master of Science in Nursing degree and Master of School Administration degree programs.
The three highest honors presented to Barton students: the Hilley Cup, the 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 awarded to an unprecedented five graduating seniors this year: Allison Dumas Dellinger of Harrells; who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre; Theresa Melody Scott of Smithfield, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art & Design; Anna Boykin Batts of Wilson, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Gerontology; Richard Edward Jernigan, Jr., of Woodland, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology; and Leighanne Nicole Jones of Angier, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Studies with Teacher Licensure.
The Coggins Cup, presented annually to the student voted best all-around by the Barton faculty and staff, was awarded to Hannah Max Finkelstein of Washington, N.J., who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Middle School Education (6-9).
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 Finkelstein.
In celebration of teaching excellence in the classroom and faculty commitment to student success, the Lincoln Financial Excellence in Teaching Fund Faculty Member of the Year awards were presented to Dr. John K. Dogbe, assistant professor of chemistry, and Ashley Gardner, visiting instructor of psychology and director of the Accelerated Professional Programs.
John Thomas Sloop, senior class president, addressed the graduating class. Brenda Hobbs Whaley, class of 1998, president of the Barton College Alumni Association and its Alumni Board, brought greetings to graduating seniors on behalf of the Alumni Association.
The Reverend Jamie C. Eubanks, chaplain of the college, officiated at the baccalaureate service on Saturday morning, and the Reverend Blythe Taylor, assistant director of academic support in the Office of Student Success at Barton College and an ordained minister in the Cooperative Baptist Church, delivered the baccalaureate sermon.
Earlier in the week, the Hooding Ceremony for the Master of School Administration graduates in the School of Education was held on Thursday, May 12. Dr. Daynes was the featured speaker. Tammie Noble brought remarks on behalf of the M.S.A. graduates.
The Pinning Ceremony for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates and the Hooding Ceremony for the Master of Science in Nursing graduates in the School of Nursing was held on Friday, May 13. The featured speaker at the ceremony was the Honorable Gale Adcock, M.S.N., F.N.P. R.N., Representative for the 41st District in the N.C. House of Representatives and Chief Health Officer at S.A.S. Institute, Inc. Student speakers included Jacob William Andrew Sarvey, senior nursing class president, speaking on behalf of the B.S.N. graduates, and Susan Speed Suiter, speaking on behalf of the M.S.N. graduates.