WILSON, N.C. — May 4, 2022 — J. Eric Boyette, Secretary for the N.C. Department of Transportation, will be the featured speaker at the 120th annual commencement exercises of Barton College scheduled for Saturday, May 14, on center campus at 10:30 a.m. Dr. Douglas N. Searcy will preside over his seventh commencement program as president of Barton College. Dr. Kevin N. Pennington, vice president for academic affairs, will present the 2022 Class of 255 undergraduate and graduate students.
Participating in this year’s commencement ceremony will be students who completed their baccalaureate degree requirements in December 2021 and May 2022, as well as undergraduate candidates who expect to fulfill requirements over the summer. Also participating will be graduates of the Master of Business Administration in Strategic Leadership, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of School Administration, Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and the Master of Science in Kinesiology degree programs.
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 Lincoln Financial Excellence in Teaching Fund 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.
Kathy Turner (class of 2012 and class of 2018), 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 Weekend activities will begin with the baccalaureate service on Friday evening, May 13, at 4:30 p.m. in Howard Chapel.
Earlier in the week, the Hooding Ceremony for the Master of School Administration graduates in the School of Education will be held on Thursday, May 12, at 6 p.m. in Howard Chapel. The Hooding Ceremony for the Master of Science in Nursing graduates and the Pinning Ceremony for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates in the School of Nursing will be held on Friday, May 13, at 10 a.m. in Wilson Gymnasium. The Hooding Ceremony for the Master of Science in Criminal Justice graduates and the Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice graduates in the School of Sciences, and the Master of Science in Kinesiology graduates in the School of Allied Health and Sport Studies, will be held at 3 p.m. in Howard Chapel. And, the Hooding Ceremony for the Master of Business Administration in Strategic Leadership graduates in the School of Business will be held on Friday, May 13, at 6 p.m. in Wilson Gymnasium.
About the Commencement Speaker —
Eric Boyette was named Secretary for the N.C. Department of Transportation by Governor Roy Cooper in February 2020. As transportation secretary, Boyette oversees one of the largest state-maintained highway systems in the nation, and all modes of transportation, including aviation, ferries, rail, public transit and bicycle and pedestrian transportation, as well as the Office of Civil Rights and Division of Motor Vehicles.
He is the chairman of the N.C. Turnpike Authority Board of Directors and serves on the State Ports Authority Board of Directors and State Emergency Response Commission.
Boyette brings more than 25 years of state government experience in various roles, with responsibilities ranging from technical to financial practices. He previously served as the secretary and state chief information officer for the N.C. Department of Information Technology. He has also held several key roles at NCDOT, including chief information officer, inspector general and Division of Motor Vehicles commissioner.
As secretary and state chief information officer at NCDIT, Boyette led the state department responsible for all IT procurement, state cybersecurity, operational services, broadband infrastructure, solutions division, data analytics center, the N.C. 911 Board and strategic IT planning.
He has been recognized numerous times for serving North Carolina with distinction. In 2019, he was awarded Golden Gov: State Executive of the Year and GovTech’s Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers. He was also named Public Sector CIO of the Year by NC Tech (2019) and the Triangle Business Journal (2016). He received the Old North State Award in 2017, and achieved Eagle Scout rank, the Boy Scouts of America’s highest award, in 1989.
Boyette earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at Barton College 1994. He is a Kenly native, where he lives with his wife Dana, son Jay and daughter Morgan, and serves on the board for the Kenly Volunteer Fire Department.