|Outstanding senior to give graduation address at Centre
RELEASED: May 24, 2001
DANVILLE, KYOn the same stage that has hosted Jimmy Carter, Dick Cheney, Joseph Lieberman and many other luminaries, another historic event will take place at Centre College as an individual student will deliver the primary Commencement address. Senior Beverly Brooks will address her fellow classmates Sunday, June 3 at 3 p.m. in the graduation of Centre's 178th class.
About 255 students are to graduate at the ceremonies at Newlin Hall.
Brooks, an international relations major, was chosen to speak because of the strength of her presentation to the speaker-selection committee, her enthusiasm and her intense activity in the Centre community the past four years.
Brooks was born in La Ceiba, Honduras, a city with a population of nearly 300,000, and though Spanish is her native language, she speaks English as well as if not better than most native speakers. She learned of Centre through family friends who live in Lexington.
Reflecting on her decision to attend Centre, she says: "Centre's approach for the recruitment of international students was superb. Their interaction and communication were by far the best of the schools I applied to."
Since her arrival in 1997, Brooks has thrived at the college. She has studied overseas in Ecuador, been a member of the Centre Dancers, been named a Heritage Scholar and been a consistent member of the dean's list. She is the president of Sigma Delta Pi and of the Spanish Society, and recently won the Spanish Prize.
"I've learned about others and myself," she said. "Considering that I came from so far away and was able to adapt and enjoy college shows the school and the community's ability to welcome and integrate people from all walks of life."
Mary Daniels, assistant professor of Spanish, said Centre was lucky to have a student such as Brooks.
"She's a very remarkable young woman," Daniels said. "She really understands what a liberal arts education is about. She knows what you can get out of it and how you can give back."
Daniels supervised a Centre term in Ecuador. Brooks was a student during the trip and her presence was invaluable, Daniels said.
"There were some interesting situations during the trip," Daniels said. "There were some strikes which led to some confusion. Beverly was very calm and helpful. She held the group together. She's very reliable in situations like that."
Brooks is the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Albert Brooks of La Ceiba. She plans to pursue a career in international development and to move to Washington D.C. after graduation.
The Baccalaureate address will be given by College chaplain and assistant professor of religion Rick Axtell.
Axtell, actively involved in the issues of hunger and homelessness, holds a bachelor of arts degree from Mississippi College. He earned a master of divinity degree and a doctorate from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he has completed additional advanced studies at the University of Notre Dame.
While teaching and working in Louisville, Axtell was honored as Teacher of the Year at Bellarmine College and Metro Louisville Hunger Activist of the Year.
Centre's Commencement celebration begins Saturday, June 2 and includes several new events this year. A reception will be held June 2 behind Old Centre from 4-5:30 p.m., a senior class tribute will begin at 5:30, and a senior class photograph will be taken in front of Old Centre at 6. A family picnic will be held on the lawn in front of Cowan starting at 6:30. And to cap off Saturday's celebration, a senior family party will be held in front of Old Centre. The party will include refreshments, prize giveaways, music with a live DJ and a fireworks show.
The Baccalaureate address will take place Sunday at 11 a.m. at Newlin Hall, followed by Commencement at 3 p.m. The Baccalaureate address is open to the public, while Commencement is open only for family members of the graduates.
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