|Students take detour, but remain determined
RELEASED: May 22, 2003
DANVILLE, KYMost of the class of 2003 will be in their 20s, emerging for the first time into the "real world." But two Centre graduates have a different story to tell.
Kevin Bruce Daugherty and Ray Maikkula were each originally part of the classes of 1972 and 1984, respectively, but various factors in their lives kept them from graduating until this year.
Daugherty left Centre in 1972, during the second trimester of his senior year. Until a couple of months ago, Daugherty had not returned to campus.
"It was still painful for me," he said. "I felt a sense of something being left undone." Daugherty knew his parents had sacrificed in their own lives to send him to Centre, and that they were disappointed by his choice to leave. He's dedicating his graduation in memory of his parents who passed away in 2000, and he's also thankful for the support of his wife, Vicki, and his two children.
Daugherty will graduate magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts in Spanish after having completed several credit hours at the University of Louisville in order to fulfill graduation requirements.
"I really appreciate what the registrar and the dean did," Daugherty said. "[Registrar] Tim Culhan was incredibly helpful, and the academic standards committee was incredibly gracious. The experience demonstrated the difference between a large university and Centre. I wasn't expecting the response that I got."
While at Centre, Daugherty was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior and was a junior marshal. He also played briefly on the football and baseball teams. One of Daugherty's most cherished memories was being a part of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
"Phi Delta Theta was a very meaningful part of my Centre experience," he said. "Our fraternity was unique and encompassed a broad range of people."
Daugherty currently works as an insurance agent in Louisville, but his recent educational endeavors have led him to contemplate going back to U of L for a few more classes to become certified as a teacher.
After having 31 years invested in the workforce, Daugherty has some advice for his fellow graduates.
"Identify your passion and take a chance," he said. "Do what you want to do. Find something you like so much you would do it for no pay and then pursue it."
The story of non-traditional graduate Ray Maikkula is a bit different.
Maikkula was enrolled in the 3-2 engineering program while a student at Centre. He spent three years on campus in Danville and then completed two years at the University of Kentucky, where he earned a degree.
He didn't graduate with the rest of his Centre class in 1984 since he hadn't completed one requirement, though he walked with his class. Centre accepted his completion of the missing credit, and he will become a member of the class of 2003.
"I look forward to putting my Centre degree up on the wall," Maikkula said.
Maikkula now works as a project manager for an Intelligent Traffic Systems contracting company. Because of his work, Maikkula moves every three to five years to set up new projects.
While a student at Centre, Maikkula was a member of the soccer and track teams, as well as a brother of Sigma Chi fraternity.
Though he won't be able to attend the formal ceremony at Centre May 25, Maikkula is happy to have completed his degree.
"It's never too late to finish," Maikkula said. "Even if it's a minor detail."
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