Ferrum News

Ferrum College Celebrates 96th Annual Commencement


Nearly 200 graduates received diplomas during ceremonies that included awards presentations and a keynote address by Hampden-Sydney College President Christopher B. Howard.

Ferrum, Va. (May 5, 2012) – Ferrum College held its 96th annual commencement ceremonies for the class of 2012 on Saturday, May 5.  Due to a rainy forecast, the 196 graduates received their diplomas in Swartz Gymnasium. The morning event also included the presentation of student, faculty and alumni awards, as well as an address by Hampden-Sydney College President Christopher B. Howard. A lunch for graduates and their guests immediately followed the ceremony.

“What a wonderful day this is as we join together as members of the extended Ferrum family to celebrate the achievements of the class of 2012,” said President Jennifer Braaten. “We are proud of their success and the contributions they have made to the College and the community during their years at Ferrum.”

Awards presentations followed Dr. Braaten’s remarks and greetings from Board of Trustees Chairman Sam Lionberger, Jr. Among the award recipients, two noted Ferrum alumni – brothers Charles G. Menefee ’42 and Richard L. Menefee ’43 – each received the Benjamin M. Beckham Medallion, Ferrum’s highest alumni honor. The Menefees, who exemplify the Ferrum College motto “Not Self, But Others,” were honored for their service to church, family, and for their loyalty to the College.

During his keynote address, Dr. Howard advised the graduates of five Be’s. “Be your own best self. Be humble. Be accountable. Be courageous,” he said, illustrating the importance of each Be with stories from his life’s experience. Dr. Howard finished his speech with the final Be, “Be the change in the world you want to see.”

In speaking of his fellow students’ experiences, senior class speaker William Moore noted that at times their life journeys were jostled by difficult and tragic events. However, he said, “We are like a forest. We must be resilient.” Moore closed his speech with words from the poem “Song of Open Road” by Walt Whitman.

Graduates also participated in a traditional Baccalaureate service on Friday evening in Vaughn Chapel. The service concluded with a candlelight ceremony at Hart International Plaza to symbolize the light of knowledge that the new graduates will carry forth into the world.

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A selection of Ferrum College commencement photographs with caption information may be found at http://flic.kr/s/aHsjzJs9Rk. All photos are courtesy Ferrum College.