Centre's Class of 2008 maintains highest graduation rate in Kentucky
Baccalaureate sermon by Rick Axtell
Commencement speech by Leland Melvin
RELEASED: May 19, 2008
DANVILLE, KY—NASA astronaut Leland Melvin addressed Centre College's Class of 2008 on Sunday during the College's 185th commencement. Click here for speech.
"Second chances are very important," Leland said. "It's not about the failing, it's about what you do after that makes the difference."
Two hundred and seventy five seniors received degrees, and two will receive degrees in the summer. Valedictorian prizes were presented to Ben Elliot Stewart and Virginia Leigh Ivey. Stewart, of Lovelaceville, Ky., received the George Winston Welsh Valedictorian Prize as the top male graduate. Ivey, of Elizabethtown, Ky., received the Gavin Easton Wiseman Valedictorian Prize as the top female graduate.
The four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2008 was 85 percent, the highest in Centre's history and the highest four-year graduation rate in Kentucky.
Melvin began working at NASA in 1989, specializing in fiber optic research, and in 1998, he began training for flight missions. He flew his first shuttle mission on the Atlantis in February of this year, a flight that marked the 24th shuttle mission to the International Space Station.
Leland also has been co-manager of NASA's Educator Astronaut Program, traveling across the country to engage thousands of students and teachers in the excitement of space exploration and to inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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