Commencement 196 by the numbers

Three hundred and twenty-seven seniors were granted degrees at Centre College’s 196th Bicentennial Commencement, held on Sunday, May 19, at the Norton Center for the Arts. The Class of 2019 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: 327. The Class of 2019 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 2019 class is 85 percent, giving Centre among the highest rates in the nation.

Most popular majors: The top six majors are 1) economics and finance; 2) international studies; 3) mathematics; 4) psychology tied; 5) anthropology/sociology; and 6) behavioral neuroscience.

Number of honorary degrees awarded: 2. Nontombi Naomi Nozizwe Tutu was granted an honorary doctor of humane letters, and Stuart Wilson Sanders was granted an honorary doctor of humane letters.

Number of Valedictorians: 1. Isaac William Vock, of Loveland, Ohio, was recognized as this year’s valedictorian and the winner of the George Winston Welsh Prize, awarded to the male graduate with highest GPA. Ashley Allison Hayes, of Lexington, Kentucky, was the winner of the Gavin Easton Wiseman Prize, which is awarded to the female graduate with the highest GPA.

Number of students receiving honors: 94. Nine students graduated summa cum laude, 32 magna cum laude and 53 cum laude.

Number of students in Phi Beta Kappa: Forty 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 10th class of Posse graduates.

Number of Brown Fellows: 10. 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.

Number of Grissom Scholars: 10—the inaugural class. Grissom Scholars are first-generation college students with proven academic achievement, strong character and exceptional potential for leadership and participation in the life of the College. Preference is given to students with substantial financial need who live in the United States.

Bonner Scholars: As part of Centre’s Bonner program, 14 senior Bonner Scholars and Leaders dedicated their four years to civic engagement and serving others in the surrounding communities and beyond, collectively completing 6,062 hours of service along with other Bonner Scholars at the College in the 2018-19 academic year.

National awards: This year’s class includes one who will go on to participate in Teach For America. Two graduates will participate in Teach Kentucky.

Number of Fulbright Scholars: Two students accepted Fulbright awards, Mitchell Collins ’19, who will be teaching English in Paraguay, and Ryan Collins ’19, who will be teaching English in Spain.

Number of  Rotary Global Grant recipients: 1. Kate Spencer ’19 will study at University College London beginning fall 2019.

Number of Japan Exchange Teaching program recipients: 1. John Newton ’19, who will serve as an assistant language teacher.

Number of John C. Young Scholars: During their senior year, six students engaged in independent study, research or artistic work in their major discipline or in an interdisciplinary area of their choosing.

Number of Newman Civic Fellows with Campus Connect: 1, Hannah Gibbs ’19. The yearlong fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities.

Number of ROTC graduates: 1. Clark Smith ’19 will be an active duty army infantry officer. He will be moving to Benning, Georgia, in August for the Infantry Basic Officer Leaders Course.

Number of graduates going into the Peace Corps: 5. Liza Goss ’19, Senegal; Jordan Schlaug ’19, Kyrgyzstan; Jacquelyn Engel ’19, Benin; Eric Ash ’19, Mozambique; Colleen Coyle ’19, Guatemala

Number of internships completed in the 2018-2019 academic year: 145.

Number of seniors who completed collaborative research in the 2018-2019 academic year: 92.

Number of student-athletes: 84. The senior class has compiled 14 conference championships and 19 NCAA championship appearances (team and individual). In addition, four of this year’s seniors earned SAA Player of the Year honors. Ben Logsdon and John Wilson were CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, the first such honorees for Centre football since 1995. Alexander Garuba (soccer) and Annie Rodenfels (cross country/track, 6x) represented the Centre Class of 2019 as All-Americans, with Rodenfels becoming the College’s first female individual national champion after winning the 3000m steeplechase at last year’s NCAA Division III Track and Field Championship.

Nations and states represented: This year’s class includes students from 29 states and four foreign countries: Canada, China, Germany and Vietnam. Among the 2019 graduates are 24 international students.

Number of students who studied abroad: 259. The Class of 2019 helped propel Centre to a #3 national ranking for study abroad by the Institute for International Education.

Graduates whose parents attended Centre: 39 legacy students were numbered among the graduating class.

Graduates with siblings who attended or are currently enrolled at Centre: 54

Graduates with strongest Centre connections: Mary Dyche ’19 has an impressive 14 fellow Centre alumni in her family tree, followed by Andrew Ely ’19, Katie Moore ’19 and Hall Rupert ’19, who all join six of their relatives as Centre grads.

Family members and friends in attendance: Approximately 2,500.

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 2019 graduates share a common calling as they join the ranks of the “#1 happiest grads in the nation.”

by Centre College News
May 22, 2019