Pearse Lyons, Eugene Hughes Address Grads at Fall Commencement

Pearse Lyons and Eugene Hughes photos

Alltech founder and President Dr. Pearse Lyons and former Eastern Kentucky University Interim President Dr. Eugene Hughes addressed 1,218 degree candidates at EKU’s annual Fall Commencement in Alumni Coliseum on Saturday, Dec. 17. A morning ceremony, featuring Lyons as keynote speaker, recognized degree candidates from the Colleges of Education, Health Sciences and Justice & Safety. The afternoon ceremony, featuring Hughes as keynote speaker, honored candidates from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Business & Technology. “My challenge to you is to go out and push a dent in the world,” Lyons told the graduates. “It’s not about knowledge. It’s about imagination. Education places you in a position to use your imagination. Imagine your future. Imagine your footprint.” Lyons, who received an honorary Doctor of Science degree before he spoke, told the graduates they have “the opportunity of a lifetime, in many cases an opportunity your parents never had.” He offered them what he called the “five D’s”: dare (to do something different and be different), desire, dedicate, decide and dream. Hughes, who was interim president at EKU in 2001 between the administrations of Bob Kustra and Joanne Glasser, talked about several EKU graduates who have gone on to national prominence in diverse career fields. “I assure you that EKU is a university of opportunity,” Hughes said. “You may not remember the names, but think about the accomplishments and what potentially awaits each of you.” EKU graduates, he said, have become “leaders in medicine and law, in elementary and secondary education; professors at colleges and universities; and even … in professional athletics. Your assignment is to follow in the footsteps of these distinguished alumni. By now, I know that you agree with me that EKU is a university of opportunity.” Hughes received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the university. Speaking as representatives of their graduating class in the morning and afternoon ceremonies, respectively, were Stephanie Parke, of Richmond, and Dana Cole, of Somerset. The honorees included 93 associate degree candidates, 837 bachelor’s degree candidates, 294 master’s degree candidates and four doctoral degree candidates. Both ceremonies can be viewed in their entirety at

Published on December 17, 2011

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