A Cool Breeze and a Hint of Sun Welcomed Graduates and Families to the 115th Commencement (Photo Album & Video Highlights)

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Graduate Samuel Steven Ellis shakes the hand of President Douglas N. Searcy as he crosses the Commencement Stage on Saturday.

WILSON, N.C. — May 13, 2017 — A cool breeze and “just enough sun” provided a perfect setting as graduates and their families gathered with the Barton College community on center campus for Commencement Exercises on the eve of Mother’s Day, Saturday, May 13.

View a sampling of photographs from Commencement Exercises at  https://barton.smugmug.com/17-Campus-Events/2017-Commencement/

View video highlights of the Commencement Exercises at  https://www.barton.edu/commencement

Two hundred and seventy-seven seniors participated in the 115th annual commencement exercises. Dr. Douglas N. Searcy presided over his second 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.

Endia Beal, assistant professor of art and director of the Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State University, delivered the commencement address. Beal is a North Carolina-based artist, educator and activist, who is internationally known for her photographic narratives and video testimonies that examine the personal, yet contemporary stories of women of color working within the corporate space.

Participating in this year’s commencement ceremony were students who completed their baccalaureate degree requirements in December 2016 and May 2017, as well as undergraduate candidates who expect to fulfill requirements over the summer. Also participating were graduates of the Master of Science in Nursing degree, Master of School Administration degree, and Master of Education in Elementary Education 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 Calvin Scott Hawke of Wendell, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Mathematics.

The Coggins Cup, presented annually to the student voted best all-around by the Barton faculty and staff, was also awarded to Hawke.

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 Terrance Lamont Holloway of Greenville, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Psychology.

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. Richard Groskin, professor of criminal justice and criminology, and Dr. Tim Dornemann, assistant professor of exercise science.

Terrance L. Holloway, senior class president, addressed the graduating class. Tracy O’Shields Mitchell, 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.

Earlier on Commencement Day, President and Mrs. Douglas N. Searcy hosted a morning reception for graduating seniors and their parents at the Barton-Graves House.

The Reverend Jamie C. Eubanks, chaplain of the college, officiated at the baccalaureate service on Saturday morning, and the Reverend Beth Burton-Williams, class of 1985, pastor of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Smithfield, delivered the baccalaureate sermon.

Earlier in the week, the Hooding Ceremony for the Master of School Administration and Master of Education in Elementary Education graduates in the School of Education was held on Thursday, May 11. Kelsey High brought remarks on behalf of the M.Ed. graduates and David Lott 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 12.  The featured speaker at the ceremony was Linda Hofler, Ph.D., R.N., senior vice president – nurse executive at Vidant Medical Center. The student speaker was Brandi Hutaff Gardner, senior nursing class president.

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