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2022 Commencement Festivities Celebrated

Submitted on May 9, 2022

President Allen with Margaret GreynoldsDespite the rain that drove most of the festivities indoors, Commencement activities last week were truly a celebration of the success of the students, faculty, staff, and alumni who were honored. 

Seniors were celebrated at a picnic on the back lawn of the President’s House Thursday night, May 5, receiving a welcome from Alumni Director Olivia Coleman-Dunn, and a charge to the class from biology professor Dr. Richard Kopp. A Georgetown tradition, senior superlatives from “Most Likely to Succeed” to “Most Likely to Trip at Commencement” were handed out amid applause and laughter. 

Friday, May 6, a Senior Celebration was held at the Ensor Learning Resource Center, allowing seniors to introduce their parents and friends to professors and staff members. This was followed by a group photo on the steps of John L. Hill Chapel. At 7 PM, in cap and gowns, the graduating seniors filed into the chapel for the Baccalaureate service. 

Senior Madison Patton gave a personal testimony of her journey to accepting her calling to a Christian vocation before the Christian service awards were announced. Peer-nominated, these awards recognize the efforts of individuals on campus who strive to live out their faith in service to God and others. Dr. Susan Bell, psychology professor, won the George W. Redding Award for faculty; Ticha Chikuni, executive director of admissions, won the Gardner-Marshall Staff Award; and senior Avery Renner of Louisville was given the Norman and Martha Yocum Lytle Award for graduating seniors.

The invocation was offered by chemistry professor Dr. Todd Hamilton, recipient of the 2021 Redding award, and a reading from Colossians was given by senior Logan Sawyers. 

The Baccalaureate sermon was delivered by Texas native Rev. Richard Gaines, former member of the College’s Board of Trustees, and pastor of Consolidated Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky., since 1996. The Rev. Dr. Bryan Langlands, campus minister and associate dean of Student Life, presided over the service and gave the benediction. 

Crowds packed the Davis-Reid Alumni Gymnasium to witness the conferring of degrees to 171 undergraduates and 50 graduates on Saturday morning, May 7. “Golden Agers,” members of the graduating classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972, were recognized in celebration of the 50th anniversaries of their own Commencements, since the 2020 and 2021 celebrations were cancelled due to the pandemic. 

Former College administrator, the Rev. Carolyn Hale Cubbage gave the invocation, followed by a welcome by President Dr. Rosemary Allen. Dean’s Award recipient Joabe Barbosa gave the Class of 2022 Senior Address, elected for that honor by his classmates. Senior Channing Baker presented the College with the Senior Class Gift, more than $2,000. 

President Allen then announced her choice for the President’s Award, senior Carrie Cecil from Louisa, Ky. Provost Dr. Jonathan Sands Wise then presented the Don and Chris Kerr Cawthorne Award to Dr. Bill Stevens, biology professor. The Rev. Mary Alice Birdwhistell, ’09, delivered the Commencement address.

An honorary doctoral degree was bestowed upon Margaret (Thornton) Greynolds, a 1959 Georgetown College graduate and professor from 1969 to 2000. She chaired the Communication Arts department for more than 20 years and was the speech and debate coach during her tenure. Greynolds won renown for her coaching, earning Hall of Fame honors in the Kentucky High School Speech League, the Kentucky Forensic Association, the National Forensic Association, and Pi Kappa Delta, the American forensic honor society, after receiving numerous awards in those and other organizations. 

An active member of the Georgetown and Scott County community most of her life, Greynolds has been in leadership roles in youth clubs, professional societies, political organizations, fine arts groups, women’s organizations, and helped organize the first Royal Spring Festival that is now the popular Festival of the Horse, held each September. She has been an active member of Georgetown Baptist Church from youth and still teaches a Sunday School class. Greynolds published a novel, Community of Life with coauthors and former fellow Georgetown College faculty members Dr. Macy Wyatt and the late Dr. Gwen Curry. 

After the undergraduates received their diplomas, Dean of Education Dr. Kim Walters-Parker, ’83, presented the Graduate Dean’s Honor Award to Tyler Harris, English and broadcast journalist teacher at Trinity High School. Afterwards Master of Education degree candidates underwent the hooding ceremony by professors Dr. Jane Arrington, Dr. Todd Hamilton, and Dr. Harold Peach. 

Before the benediction by professor Dr. Tracy Livingston, and the recessional, Chris Powell, visiting assistant professor of music, led the crowd in singing the Alma Mater. After Commencement a reception for Dr. Greynolds was held for invited guests. 

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Graduate and family Professor hugging student

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