Three hundred and thirty seniors were granted degrees at Centre College’s 195 Commencement, held on Sunday, May 20, at the Norton Center for the Arts. The Class of 2018 leaves a legacy of impressive accomplishments and countless life-changing experiences on campus and across the globe.
As we bid them farewell, here’s a final look at the graduates, including a roundup of interesting facts and figures:
Number of graduating seniors: 330, with two potential summer graduates. The Class of 2018 differs markedly from the graduating classes of the College’s earliest years. Centre was chartered in 1819, and its inaugural class—composed of only two graduates—were awarded degrees in 1824.
Graduation rate: With a guarantee to graduate in four years, Centre delivers on its reputation for high achievement. The four-year graduation rate for the 2018 class is 82 percent, giving Centre among the highest rates in the nation.
Most popular majors: The top five majors are 1) economics and finance; 2) international studies; 3) biology; 4) history; and 5) psychology.
Number of honorary degrees awarded: 2. Stephen B. Bright was granted an honorary doctor of laws and Commencement speaker Robert M. Franklin Jr. was granted an honorary doctor of divinity.
Number of Valedictorians: 1. Aarthi Manicka Vadhanam, of Louisville, was recognized as this year’s valedictorian and the winner of the Gavin Easton Wiseman Prize, which is awarded to the female graduate with the highest GPA. Noah Santford Martin, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, was the winner of the George Winston Welsh Prize, awarded to the male graduate with highest GPA.
Number of students receiving honors: 89. Ten students graduated summa cum laude, 33 magna cum laude and 46 cum laude.
Number of students in Phi Beta Kappa: Thirty-seven graduates were elected to Centre’s chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences.
Number of Posse Scholars: Ten members of the Posse program crossed the stage. The New York-based Posse Foundation recruits outstanding students from urban school systems in large cities across the U.S. and places them in selective colleges and universities, where they receive full scholarships. This is the ninth class of Posse graduates, all of whom are from the Boston area. Centre will celebrate 12 years of partnering with the Posse Foundation this fall.
Number of Brown Fellows: 9. This was the sixth class of Brown Fellows to graduate from Centre. The College partnered with the James Graham Brown Foundation to launch the Brown Fellows Program in 2009. Students selected into the program receive full-ride scholarships and additional benefits, including summer enrichment experiences. The program is the premier scholarship and enrichment initiative in Kentucky and one of the nation’s elite fellowship programs.
National awards: This year’s class includes three graduates who will go on to participate in Teach For America.
Number of Fulbright Scholars: Four students accepted Fulbright awards, three of whom will be teaching English in Honduras, Mexico, and Brazil, and a fourth who will be conducting ecology research in Indonesia.
Number of graduates going into the Peace Corps: 7. They will pursue assignments in Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda and Ukraine.
Number of John C. Young Scholars: During their senior year, seven students engaged in independent study, research or artistic work in their major discipline or in an interdisciplinary area of their choosing.
Number of ROTC graduates: 3.
Number of internships completed in the 2017-2018 academic year: 188.
Number of students who completed collaborative research in the 2017-2018 academic year: 158.
Number of student-athletes: 112. The senior class has compiled 21 conference championships and 24 NCAA championship appearances (team and individual). In addition, six of this year’s seniors earned SAA Player of the Year honors (Noah Martin was named the SAA Man of the Year, the highest award given by the conference) while four senior student-athletes earned All-America acclaim a total of 13 times. The All-American Athletes represented in the Class of 2018 are: Brooklyn Bell, Women’s Field Hockey; Hayley Barker, Women’s Field Hockey; Sarah Hayhurst, 9x, Diving and Pole Vault; and Sam Long 2x, Men’s Lacrosse.
Nations and states represented: This year’s class includes students from 33 states and three foreign countries: China, India and Vietnam. Among the 2018 graduates are 24 international students.
Percentage of students who studied abroad: 85 percent of the class studied abroad or away at least once during their four years at Centre. Thirty-five percent of the graduates studied abroad two or more times, and one student studied abroad four or more times while at Centre. The Class of 2018 helped propel Centre to a #3 national ranking for study abroad by the Institute for International Education.
Bonner Scholars: As part of Centre’s Bonner program, 18 senior Bonner Scholars and Leaders dedicated their four years to civic engagement and serving others in the surrounding communities and beyond.
Graduates whose parents attended Centre: 26 legacy students were numbered among the graduating class.
Graduates with siblings who attended or are currently enrolled at Centre: 38.
Graduates with strongest Centre connections: Audrey Moreng has an impressive six fellow Centre alumni in her family tree, followed by Beka Bruner and James Rose and Reuben Russak-Pribble, who all join five of their relatives as Centre grads. In addition, Hailey Foote, Tom Hall, Christine Semple and Zach Tarter have four Centre connections.
Family members and friends in attendance: 2,000 to 2,200. Newlin Hall held approximately 1,400 guests during the Commencement ceremony. A simulcast of the ceremony held in Centre’s Alumni Gymnasium was attended by approximately 1,200 additional guests.
After graduation: Centre graduates cross the stage career ready, with 97 percent of last year’s class employed or pursing advanced study within one year of graduation. This is one of many reasons the Princeton Review listed Centre as one of its “Colleges That Pay You Back,” among other “Best Value” rankings by such publications as Forbes, Money and Kiplinger’s.
While their post-Centre pursuits vary, the 2018 graduates share a common calling as they join the ranks of the “#1 happiest grads in the nation”—a number that now totals 13,746 proud alumni.
by Centre College News
May 31, 2018