St. Andrews holds 117th Commencement
Laurinburg, NC - St. Andrews University held the 117th Commencement Ceremony Saturday on DeTamble Terrace.
During the ceremony, 82 degrees were conferred, including the first 20 Master’s in Business Administration. There were also two students who completed their coursework through the online program.
Award winning journalist and senior fellow at the University of Southern California – Annenberg’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy Geneva Overholser served as the Commencement Speaker.
“I was deeply honored to be invited by President (Paul) Baldasare to give your commencement address, and I wanted very much to find something real and meaningful to say to you,” Overholser said. “So, amidst all these milestones, I’ve been thinking a lot about what shapes a life, how it is shaped and what shapes it.”
Overholser went on to provide the graduates with a final assignment from St. Andrews related to setting goals based on priorities in order to lead the life they want.
“Your last St. Andrews assignment is to think about what’s important to you,” she said. “Determine the goals that will enable you to lead your life. Write them down. Commit them to memory. And then commit to checking in with yourself regularly to see how you’re doing.”
Overholser’s Laurinburg High School class of 1966 classmate Susan Wentz was honored with the 2014 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award as a community member who has demonstrated a life of service.
“For 30 years, Susan devoted herself to working at St. Andrews, which she considered to be her vocational life mission and ministry,” said Baldasare in presenting the award. “She believes passionately in the transformational education that this Presbyterian-related college has consistently delivered through the years to its students.
“At the same time she was spending her days working at St. Andrews, she was also deeply engaged in the ministry at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, where she has served in every possible layperson role. As a community volunteer she chaired the Laurinburg Housing Authority for 16 years, was an active leader in scouting, and continues to serve as a Hospice volunteer.”
The 2014 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Student recipient was Karlee Arnold from South Whitley, Ind., who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Forensic Science.
“We honor Karlee not only in recognition of her exemplary academic accomplishments as a student, but also, and perhaps more importantly, because of the many ways she leads her life in service to others and sets a strong, positive example of unassailable integrity for all who know her,” said Dr. Robert Hopkins, vice president for academic affairs and dean.
Hopkins outlined her academic service as a tutor in chemistry and Spanish as well as her volunteer work with Operation InAsMuch and competitive work as a member of the cross country team.
“Without doubt, Karlee is a person who moves outside her narrow circle of self-interest and devotes much of her energy in service to her fellow students, to others outside the confines of the St. Andrews campus, and to our local and her home communities,” said Hopkins. “It is no small matter to say, she spreads good will wherever she goes and in countless ways.”
Hopkins also had the honor of presenting the Class of 1991 Distinguished Faculty Service Award for 2014 to Dr. Saundra Jones, head of the Education Department.
“She has been characterized as a positive Ambassador for St. Andrews University,” said Hopkins. “She has taken the initiative to expand educational programs beyond the confines of the campus in order to serve a larger number of students. She has received high praise for her concern for students and for the nurturing kindness that she displays toward students.”
Beccah Yuswak of Savanna, Ill., and Meredith Pfeifer of West End, shared insights on behalf of the graduating class.
“Whether we were studying abroad with Betsy or Dr. Ted, getting advice from Jen, Mike Chase, or Ms. Dawn, getting the truth from Big Will, enjoying a cookout with Dr. Glass, or bonding with our coaches, both equestrian and athletic, we all found our niche and our un-biological family at St. Andrews,” said Yuswak, who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Therapeutic Horsemanship.Pfeifer, who received a B.A. in Elementary Education, added, “I don’t think I could have asked for a better college experience. My professors cared about my success and my well being. They showed compassion and dedication and that makes me want to be a great teacher for my future students.”