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Feature: 2014 Spring Commencement Highlights



Morehead State University honored more than 1,100 degree candidates at its two spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 10, at the Academic-Athletic Center.

(View photo gallery)

There were smiles, cheers and lots of photographs taken as the newest alumni took the ceremonial walk across the stage, signifying the completion of their college degrees. They were greeted by MSU President Wayne D. Andrews who offered a congratulatory handshake to each of those completing graduate and undergraduate degree requirements.

Candidates from the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and College of Education participated in the first program Saturday morning, while College of Business and Public Affairs and College of Science and Technology took part in the afternoon program.

Faith Elizabeth Brown of Liberty Township, Ohio, was the morning student speaker.

She is a candidate for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish education with a minor in international studies.

Brown was homeschooled through high school while she attended Lakota East High School part-time. At Lakota East, she was a member of the National Honor Society, played junior varsity soccer, and was on the High Honor Roll.

“Instead of standing up here and thanking all the people in my life who have helped me get to this point, and trust me, there are a lot, I would like to encourage each and every one of you to find your own people after this commencement ceremony eventually ends and thank them for all their hard work in helping you to walk across this stage today,” said Brown. “As a future educator, I can attest to the fact that a little thank you can go a long way.”

Upon her arrival to Morehead State University, she was awarded a full academic scholarship through the George M. Luckey Jr. Academic Honors Program. During her time at MSU, Brown has retained a cumulative grade-point-average of 4 .0, been named Outstanding Student of Spanish, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Secondary Education, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in the Department of International and Interdisciplinary Studies, and has made the dean’s list every semester.

“After seeing the way people around here support and care about each other, I realized what a special place Morehead truly is. You all understand that it isn’t the material things like shopping and entertainment that really matter. Sure, those things are nice, but you do not have to have everything you want in order to have everything you need. At the same time, you also understand that everything you need is not handed to you on a silver platter. Life takes effort if you aren’t afraid to work for it,” said Brown.

After graduation, she plans to teach English in Spain for a year.

Also during the morning ceremony, Buckner (Buck) Hinkle Jr. of Lexington was presented an Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

He is a member of Stites and Harbison PLLC, where he has practiced law since 1974, primarily in the fields of construction law and business litigation.

Hinkle served two terms as a member of MSU’s Board of Regents (1991-2004), including chair from 2001-04.

He earned his J.D. degree from the University of Kentucky in 1974 and his B.A. degree from Sewanee: The University of the South in 1970. 

Sofia Pettersson of Täby, Sweden, was the afternoon student speaker.

“I have gotten to experience many great things that I will never forget. I have grown so much from this whole experience and I am so grateful to 18-year-old me for choosing to travel across the ocean to attend Morehead State University,” said Pattersson. “Not only have I learned another language and received a great education, but I have gotten to meet amazing people, travel across the United States with the golf team and I have learned so much about myself. Just like Morehead State’s motto is “much more,” this journey turned out to be much more than I ever imagined. “

Pettersson is a candidate for a bachelor’s degree in sport management.

Pettersson came to MSU in 2010 to be a part of the women’s golf team under coach Stephanie Barker. She was a part of the Ohio Valley Conference championship team in 2011 and participated in the NCAA tournament. She is a three-time All-American scholar.

While attending MSU, Pettersson has maintained a 4.0 grade-point-average and she has been awarded Outstanding Undergraduate Sport Management Student. She also has been selected to represent the sport management program for the School of Business Administration Student Advisory Council.

After graduation, she is looking forward to working with event planning, media relations or marketing in the sports industry. This summer, she has landed an internship with the American Junior Golf Association where she will be a traveling communications intern.

“Since we are here today, we have all come a long way, whether metaphorically or literally. I’m sure many of you have wanted to quit from time to time, but since you are here at this moment, this means that you didn’t. And for that congratulations, congratulations for not taking the easy way out, congratulations for overcoming your failures, congratulations on being a 2014 Morehead State University Graduate,” added Pettersson.

MSU’s Chamber Singers sang the national anthem while the Concert Choir performed the alma mater and special music during the commencement programs.

ROTC students were commissioned as part of each program.

Following each ceremony, the newest alumni were inducted into the MSU Alumni Association. Vice President of University Advancement James Shaw did the honor in the morning program while Sen. Robin Webb, Alumni Association president, welcomed the newest graduates in the afternoon program.

Faculty marshals were Dr. Frances L. Helphinstine, professor of English, Dr. Martha Decker, associate professor of education, and Dr. Dora Ahmadi, chair of the Department of Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Physics.

Student marshals were Anthony Sarcione Tange and  Desiree Awbrey, Graduate Programs; Zoe Becerra and April Everman, College of Science and Technology; Holly E. Wells and Kyle B. Smith, College of Business and Public Affairs; Jaime Allyn Chapman and  Rachel Walker, College of Education; Carly Saunders and Sarah Woodall, Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

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