Spring Commencement Recognizes 2,621 Degree Candidates

Eastern Kentucky University honored 2,621 degree candidates at its annual spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 10.

Three ceremonies were held, each honoring degree candidates in one or two academic colleges. The honorees included 1,977 bachelor’ degree candidates, 499 master’s degree candidates, 122 associate degree candidates, 20 specialist degree candidates, and three doctoral degree candidates.

The keynote speakers were Craig Turner, chair of the EKU Board of Regents, and Ernie House, vice chair of the Board. Turner, a Lexington businessman/entrepreneur, addressed degree candidates in the College of Business and Technology and College of Education at 9 a.m. and degree candidates in the College of Arts and Sciences at 5:30 p.m. House, a London businessman, spoke to degree candidates from the College of Health Sciences and College of Justice and Safety at 1:30 p.m.

“I started out in life with a goal to make money,” Turner said. “I eventually realized that what I want in life is to make a difference and to love what I do. It’s much more satisfying and it lasts a lot longer than making decisions solely on monetary outcomes. I believe many of you will have an opportunity to make a profound difference in the world. You are the future, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.”

Turner said that, as chair of the EKU Board of Regents, his “vision is to build upon Eastern’s strong tradition, to respect its heritage and to help guide the University as it adapts and changes to meet the needs for present and future students. This vision centers around you, the students.”

House, a former standout quarterback for the Colonels, recalled how then-Coach Roy Kidd “re-centered” his life, emphasizing the importance of character, work ethic, leadership, honesty and accountability. He then applied those lessons in the classroom, on the football field and throughout his business career.

“Put in the time and provide great effort in anything that you are doing,” House told the graduates. “Do not take short cuts or look for an easy way out – pay your dues. Work with a positive attitude, always expecting positive results, and work for everything you get. You are not entitled.”

House also exhorted the graduates to always accept responsibility for their own actions and find a way to help and serve others.

Speaking as representatives of their graduating classes were Lynda-Lindsey Sizemore, Corbin, 9 a.m. ceremony; Amanda Mellen, Ripley, W.Va., 1:30, and Tatiana Cody, Lawrenceburg, 5:30. Holly Bebout-Taulbee, of Lexington, received the 2014 President’s Outstanding Senior Award.

Published on May 12, 2014