Dr. Richard Ekman to Speak at Barton’s 106th Commencement

Exercises Scheduled for Sunday, May 18, at 1:30 p.m.

WILSON, N.C. – Some 220 seniors will participate in the 106th annual commencement exercises of Barton College, scheduled for Sunday, May 18 on center campus at 1:30 p.m. Wilson Gymnasium is the rain site. Dr. Norval C. Kneten will preside over his fifth commencement program as president of Barton College. Dr. Terrence L. Grimes, vice president for academic affairs, will present the graduating class.

Dr. Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges, will deliver the commencement address. Dr. Ekman has served in this national leadership role since 2000. He previously served as Vice President for Programs of Atlantic Philanthropies and, from 1991 to 1999, as Secretary of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. From 1982 until 1991, he was a member of the staff of the National Endowment for the Humanities, first as Director of the Division of Education Programs, subsequently as Director of the Division of Research Programs. He currently serves as a member of many boards, including the National Advisory Committee of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, the Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins University Press, the Council of Harvard University’s Graduate School Alumni Association, and the Board of Overseers Visiting Committee to the Harvard University libraries.

His previous experience includes service as Vice President and Dean of Hiram College, where he was also a tenured member of the history faculty. Earlier, he served as Assistant to the Provost at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and as Associate Director of the Department of Expository Writing at Harvard University. Dr. Ekman holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University in the history of American civilization, the institution from which he also received his A.M. and A.B. (magna cum laude) degrees. Dr. Ekman also has been awarded honorary degrees by Marywood University, and Bethany, Georgetown, Hastings, Otterbein, Alderson-Broaddus, and Ursinus Colleges. He is co-author, with Richard E. Quandt, of Technology and Scholarly Communication (University of California Press, 1999).

He has previously been active as a member of a variety of professional boards including the Board of Directors of the American Association for Higher Education, the Educational Projects Advisory Committee of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the Advisory Committee of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, the Rackham Advancement Council of the University of Michigan, the Council of Harvard University’s Villa I Tatti, the Board of Directors of the Society for Values in Higher Education, the Steering Committee of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat, the Board of Directors of the Council for the Understanding of Technology in Human Affairs, the Advisory Panel of the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education, the Boards of Trustees of Georgetown Day School and Collegiate School, and the Advisory Committee on Life-long Learning of the Ohio Board of Regents.

Participating in this year’s commencement ceremony will be students who completed their baccalaureate degree requirements in December 2007 and May 2008, as well as candidates who expect to fulfill requirements over the summer. 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 Jefferson-Pilot 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.

Dr. Phillip H. Warren, class of 1971, 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 Day program will begin with the baccalaureate sermon Sunday morning at 11 a.m. in Howard Chapel. The Reverend Hollie E. Woodruff, chaplain of the college, will deliver the address. Lunch will be served in the Hamlin Student Center Dining Hall from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at no charge for seniors and $5.00 each for family members and guests.

The Commencement festivities will include a luncheon for seniors and their parents on Saturday afternoon, May 17 from noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Norval C. Kneten at the Barton-Graves House. The pinning ceremony for the graduates of the School of Nursing will follow at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening at First United Methodist Church.


Questions? Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.