Centre College Class of 2012 includes 285 graduates
May 20, 2012 By Laura Coleman Pritchard
graduated on Sunday, May 20 at Centre College’s 189th
commencement ceremony in Newlin Hall in Centre’s Norton
Center for the Arts.
Two-hundred eighty-five members of the Class of 2012 graduated today at Centre College’s 189th commencement ceremony in Newlin Hall in Centre’s Norton Center for the Arts.
The Class of 2012 is among the largest in Centre’s history. Members of the class include three Fulbright recipients; two Peace Corps volunteers; and two Teach for America corps members. In addition, 67 students graduated with honors: seven summa cum laude, 24 magna cum laude and 36 cum laude.
Janet H. Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), was this year’s featured commencement speaker. Brown has served as the CPD’s executive director for its entire 25-year history. She received an honorary doctor of humane letters from Centre during the ceremony.
“You have a pioneering opportunity, class of 2012: suspend the use of the first-person singular. Ask questions and listen carefully to the replies,” Brown told the class, advising them to behave differently in real life than they may on the ‘me-centric’ Internet.
“In a few moments, as you come forward, you will illustrate one final thought,” she concluded. “Life may be recorded on the Internet, but it doesn’t happen there. Life happens in little and big offline moments. May the spirit of this place and the joy of this day follow you on your next adventures.”
Laura Hench and William Polio were recognized as this year’s valedictorians.
Hench, of Lexington, Ky., received the Gavin Easton Wiseman Valedictorian Prize for the top female graduate. Hench was a biochemistry and molecular biology major and graduated summa cum laude.
Polio, of Owensboro, Ky., received the George Winston Welsh Valedictorian Prize for the top male graduate. Polio was a chemical physics major and graduated summa cum laude. He also was named Centre College Male Student Athlete of the Year and received the Briscoe Inman Memorial Award, given to the graduating senior who has the most varsity letters in all sports at Centre.
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Centre College, founded in 1819 and chosen to host its second Vice Presidential Debate in 2012, is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges, at 42nd in the nation, and ranks 27th for best value among national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 34th among all the nation’s colleges and universities and has named Centre in the top five among all institutions of higher education in the South for three years in a row. Centre is also ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News for its study abroad program. For more, click here.