Links to Recorded Commencement Exercises
Class of 2021 10 a.m. Saturday – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3gtUs7BECE
Class of 2021 2 p.m. Saturday – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxSsr23qSls
Class of 2020 10 a.m. Sunday – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WubqFQiV4_A
WILSON, N.C. — May 9, 2021 — Blue skies and favorable temps set the stage for a beautiful Mother’s Day Weekend, as graduates and their families gathered with the Barton College community at the Aileen and Bill Parish Plaza at Howard Chapel for three Commencement Exercises on May 8 and May 9.
Kelly S. King, chairman and chief executive officer of Truist Financial Corporation, was the featured speaker at the 10 a.m. morning ceremony for the 119th Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2021.
Dr. Murali Ranganathan, Professor of Mathematics at Barton College, delivered the 2 p.m. commencement address for the afternoon ceremony for the Class of 2021 graduates.
Dr. Rebecca Godwin, Elizabeth H. Jordan Endowed Chair of Southern Literature in the School of Humanities at Barton College, delivered the Sunday morning commencement address to the Class of 2020.
Two hundred and fifty-three undergraduate and graduate students participated in two ceremonies (grouped by academic schools) for the 119th annual commencement exercises held on Saturday. Dr. Douglas N. Searcy presided over his sixth commencement program as president of Barton College. Dr. Gary Daynes, provost and vice president for academic affairs, presented the graduating class. John Lee, chair of the Barton College Board of Trustees, presented the Board’s Approval of the Graduating Class.
On Sunday, the College welcomed more than half of the Class of 2020 as they returned to campus to walk across the stage as well. They missed that distinctive milestone opportunity last spring when the Covid-19 Pandemic prevented the 118th Commencement Exercises from being held in person. A virtual Commencement event was held in May 2020 when recipients of honors and awards for the Class of 2020 were recognized.
Participating in this year’s 119th Commencement Exercises on Saturday were students who completed their baccalaureate degree requirements in December 2020 and May 2021, as well as undergraduate candidates who expect to fulfill requirements over the summer. Also participating were graduates of the Master of Business Administration degree in Strategic Leadership, Master of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice Sciences, Master of Science degree in Kinesiology, Master of Science in Nursing degree, and Master of School Administration degree programs.
The 10 a.m. Saturday ceremony included graduates in the Schools of Humanities, Nursing, Sciences, and of the Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree.
The 2 p.m. Saturday ceremony included graduates in the Schools of Allied Health and Sport Studies, Business, Education, and Visual Performing and Communication Arts.
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 Ada Vargas Lau of Lima, Peru, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics.
The Coggins Cup, presented annually to the student voted best all-around by the Barton faculty and staff, was awarded to Alessandro Daniel Gerbino of Borlange, Sweden, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in 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 awarded to Natalie Grace Brooks of Raleigh, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.
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 Maureen O’Neill, assistant professor of art and director of exhibitions and educational programming in the School of Visual, Performing, and Communication Arts, and Dr. Randy Hamm, associate professor of nursing in the School of Nursing.
Senior class representative Landon Skaggs of Zebulon addressed the 2021 graduating class.
Kathy Turner, class of 2012 and class of 2018, president of the Barton College Alumni Association and its Alumni Board, brought greetings to graduating seniors on behalf of the Alumni Association on both Saturday and Sunday.
On Sunday, those recognized with special awards included the 2020 Hilley Cup recipient, Malinda Charlene Smith, from New Bern, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Social Work degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.
The 2020 Coggins Cup recipient was Summer Lynn Baer, from Fleming Island, Fla., who graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The 2020 Hemby Cup was awarded to Taylor Elizabeth Medlock from Sanford, who graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree.
Also on Sunday, the 2020 Lincoln Financial Excellence in Teaching Fund Faculty Member of the Year awards were presented to Dr. Greg Bauer, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Administration and Dean of New Learning; and Trinette Boone-Langley, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Director of the Social Work Program, and Special Advisor to the President for Diversity and Inclusion.