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 12. Dr. Assad Meymandi delivered the commencement address.

Some 230 seniors participated in the 111th annual commencement exercises. Dr. Norval C. Kneten presided over his ninth commencement program as president of Barton College. Dr. Kelly M. Thompson, interim provost and vice president for external relations, presented the graduating class.

Participating in this year’s commencement ceremony were students who completed their baccalaureate degree requirements in December 2012 and May 2013, 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 awarded to Adam Anthony Barr of Richlands, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. The Coggins Cup, presented annually to the student voted best all-around by the Barton faculty and staff, was also awarded to Adam Anthony Barr. 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 Reshonda Bryana Nicole Cauthen of Salisbury who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree

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. Susan M. Bane, associate professor of physical education and Sport studies, and Adam J. Twiss, assistant professor of theatre and director of Theatre at Barton. The awards include a cash stipend for international study in conjunction with Barton’s international emphasis.

Rashonda Bryana Nicole Cauthen of Salisbury, senior class president, addressed the graduating class, reminding them to believe in themselves and to be the difference they want to see in the world. 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.

Mr. Gregg A. DeMar, chair of the Barton College Board of Trustees, recognized Dr. Thomas H. Brugh, Jr., of Wilson, who was recently elected Professor Emeritus of Biology, by the Board of Trustees, for his distinguished teaching career, his outstanding contributions to the mission of Barton College, and his commitment to students.

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 10, in Howard Chapel.

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