GEORGETOWN, KY – Both bachelor’s and master of arts in education degrees were conferred Saturday at the newly-added December commencement held in John L. Hill Chapel. The combined end-of-calendar-year ceremony enabled graduates to receive their degrees at the end of term rather than have to wait several months for the traditional May ceremony. Twenty bachelor’s degrees and 47 master’s degrees were conferred.
New president M. Dwaine Greene presided. Speaker was alumna Granetta Bingham Blevins ’80, current trustee and former chair of the Board of Trustees, who served as acting president from July 1 until Dr. Greene’s arrival in October. In her remarks, she encouraged graduates to cherish their Georgetown College education and the networking opportunities it can bring among the College’s over 19,000 living alumni.
A highlight of the ceremony included presentation of the Dean’s Honor Award, established in 2007 to recognize outstanding students in the Georgetown College Graduate Education Program. The recipient was Katherine Berner, a sixth grade English/Language Arts teacher at Clark Middle School in Winchester where she has been teaching for six years. Ms. Berner was recognized for her efforts as an “innovative and caring teacher” who implemented a pilot English class for boys to pair reading comprehension and video gaming.
The College was pleased and honored to have special music provided by Ms. Wilhelmenia Fernandez-Smith, an alumna of the graduate education program who earned a Master of Arts with Learning Behavior Disorder certification. She currently is a substitute teacher in Fayette County Public Schools.
Ms. Fernandez-Smith is an American soprano, born in Philadelphia, who gained fame as the star of the film Diva (1981) by French director Jean-Jacques Beineix. She has many other performance credits to her name as well and now lives in Lexington with her husband, Met Opera baritone Andrew W. Smith, a teacher at Kentucky State University.
Beginning in May, 2014, there will be two separate graduation ceremonies. The traditional undergraduate degree conferral will continue at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. Graduate education degrees will be conferred at a new and separate 3 p.m. ceremony that same day.
The August graduate education commencement has been discontinued.