On Sunday, May 22, 267 students received their degrees from Centre College.
The commencement speakers for the College’s 188th commencement ceremony were Dr. Lee T. Todd, president of the University of Kentucky, and Dr. T. Pearse Lyons, founder and CEO of Alltech. Both received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Centre during the ceremony.
Todd called upon graduates to “choose challenge over comfort,” take risks, strive for a higher purpose and dream big. Lyons asked the students to remember to “dream, dare, desire, decide and dedicate” as they face their future.
The Class of 2011 included Centre’s first Mitchell scholar (who will spend a year studying theater at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland) and two Fulbright winners (one whose fellowship will take her to Vietnam and another Fulbright Scholar who will be in Germany). The list includes a record 89 students graduating with honors, which is five percent higher than any of the last 10 classes. Thirteen students graduated summa cum laude (the highest level of academic distinction), 29 magna cum laude and 47 cum laude.
Valedictorian prizes were presented to Maria Kennedy and Sam Yates. Kennedy, of Louisville, received the Gavin Easton Wiseman Valedictorian Prize as the top female graduate. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and will spend the next year as an English Teaching Assistant at a Vietnamese university. Yates, of Newburgh, Ind., received the George Winston Welsh Valedictorian Prize as the top male graduate.
Yates has received a George J. Mitchell Scholarship and will begin studying “Theatre and Performance” at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in September.