Centre Commencement ’14 highlights gubernatorial connections

Posted by Centre News in News 23 May 2014

beshear_steveSteven L. Beshear (pictured right), Kentucky’s 61st governor, will be the speaker at Centre’s 191st Commencement on Sunday, May 25. He will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the ceremony.

beshear_steveCentre’s 2014 Commencement speaker is just one of a number of gubernatorial connections to the College.

In addition to the soon-to-be honorary alumnus, Centre’s alumni roster includes 11 governors from seven states.

Perhaps most famous was Austin Peay III, Class of 1895, considered one of Tennessee’s most effective governors. Austin Peay State University, which he had authorized while governor, honors his legacy.

John Young Brown, Class of 1855, was a gifted orator who served as Kentucky’s 31st governor. He was the namesake of, but not related to, John Y. Brown Sr. (pictured above), Class of 1921. (John Y. Brown Sr.’s son, however, John Y. Brown Jr., was Kentucky’s 55th governor.)

The Class of 1855 also included Thomas T. Crittenden, 24th governor of Missouri. During his tenure, the state board of health was established.

In addition, Kentucky’s first and fifth governor, Isaac Shelby, was the first to chair the Centre College Board of Trustees.

Centre’s 2014 Commencement will feature the largest graduating class in College history, with 325 expected to receive degrees. Last year, Centre graduated a class of 293.

The four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2014 will top 84 percent. The class includes a Fulbright winner—Karissa Jackson ’14 of Jeffersonville, Ind., who will spend next year teaching English in Moldova—and Audrey Jenkins ’14 of Floyd, Iowa, who will teach English in Vietnam thanks to a Princeton in Asia award. Michael Fryar ’14 of Lexington, Ky., will spend next year on a Rotary fellowship at the London School of Economics, where he will work toward a master’s degree in economic development.

Christopher B. Howard, president of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, will deliver the baccalaureate sermon and will also receive an honorary degree.

Baccalaureate will be held at 11 a.m. on May 25 in Newlin Hall of the Norton Center for the Arts. Commencement will start at 3 p.m., also in Newlin Hall. All seats for Commencement are by ticket only.

by Diane Johnson

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