Centre College’s 191st Commencement will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 25, in Newlin Hall of the Norton Center for the Arts. The 2014 graduation exercises will begin with the Baccalaureate ceremony, which will take place in the same location at 11 a.m. that morning.
The 2014 Commencement ceremony will feature the largest graduating class in the College’s history, with 325 expected to receive degrees. This is the first time in Centre’s history that the number of graduates will exceed 300.
The four-year graduation rate for the Class of 2014 will top 84 percent. The class includes a Fulbright winner—Karissa Jackson ’14 of Jeffersonville, Ind., who will spend next year teaching English in Moldova—and Audrey Jenkins ’14 of Floyd, Iowa, who will teach English in Vietnam thanks to a Princeton in Asia award. Michael Fryar ’14 of Lexington, Ky., will spend next year on a Rotary fellowship at the London School of Economics, where he will work toward a master’s degree in economic development.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Commencement and Baccalaureate ceremonies will stream live on the Centre College website. A link to the streaming video will be available on the Commencement Headquarters page, which is easily accessed from the site’s homepage. The live stream will be accessible through nearly all operating systems and browsers on all types of devices.
Dr. Christopher B. Howard, 24th president of Hampden-Sydney College, will be giving this year’s baccalaureate address. Hampden-Sydney is a private liberal arts college for men in Virginia. Founded in 1775, it is the tenth oldest institution of higher education in the United States.
Dr. Howard is one of the youngest college presidents in the United States, and he is currently a member of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council. He was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Security Education Program Board, a post for which he was confirmed by the United States Senate. He is also a member of the Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues of the Council on Foreign Relations.
His commitment to global citizenship has included service as Managing Director of Endeavor South Africa, a non-profit organization supporting entrepreneurs in the developing world. Dr. Howard is also co-founder and trustee of a non-profit organization known as the Impact Young Lives Foundation, which brings students of color from South Africa to the United States for educational and cultural tours.
President Howard earned a Ph.D. in politics as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, and he was granted an MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School. He is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, where he received a BS in political science. A retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, Dr. Howard’s military service includes active duty in Afghanistan, where he earned a bronze star.
Howard will receive an honorary degree from Centre.
The featured address at Centre’s Commencement will be given by 61st Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear, who returns to the college for a fourth official visit.
Centre welcomed the governor for the first time in 2008, when he spoke to members of the Governor’s Scholars Program. This was followed by a 2012 visit to attend the Vice Presidential Debate, as well as a visit last year to announce Centre’s hosting of the Governor’s School for the Arts.
Gov. Beshear was first elected as governor of the Commonwealth in 2007 after a long career in state government that included a stint in the Kentucky General Assembly and service as attorney general and lieutenant governor. He was re-elected to a second term as governor in 2011 on a platform that emphasized his commitment to job creation and education.
The governor was raised in Dawson Springs in western Kentucky, and he holds a BA in history as well as a law degree from the University of Kentucky. He has also served in the United States Army Reserve.
Beshear will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree during the ceremony.