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Spring Graduates Number 269; 83 Graduate with High Honors

By Janlyn Thaxton, HSU Media Relations Coordinator



Parents and friends of the graduates are expected to fill the 2,000-seat Behrens Auditorium twice this coming Saturday, May 11, 2013, during two ceremonies. The 10 a.m. commencement will be for students receiving degrees from the Cynthia Ann Parker College of Liberal Arts, Logsdon School of Theology and Seminary, Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing, and Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics. In the 2 p.m. ceremony, candidates for graduation will receive degrees from the Kelley College of Business, the College of Fine Arts, and the Irvin School of Education. {{more}} Earning the designation summa cum laude are 24 students, and eight students will be asked to stand and be recognized for having a perfect 4.0 grade point average. They include Kayla Dickerson of Early, Texas, B.B.S.; Kaitlyn Martin of Abilene, B.A.; Karl Wilcox of Granbury, Texas, B.B.S.; Tessa McGinnis of Abilene, B.B.A.; Robert Stevens of McKinney, Texas, B.B.A.; Jennifer Agee of Abilene, B.B.S.; Jennifer Bender of Abilene, B.B.S.; and Cathy Lee of Abilene, B.S. There are 50 candidates for graduation who will receive master’s degrees in English, family psychology, environmental management, family ministry, religion, divinity, business administration, counseling and human development, kinesiology, gifted and talented education, and music performance. Two doctoral degrees will be awarded during the 10 a.m. commencement. Katherine Scott will earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and Jacob West earns a Doctor of Ministry degree. Giving the charge to the graduates during the morning commencement is Dr. Teresia Taylor, senior professor of Spanish, head of the Department of Foreign Languages, and director of the Haggerton Language Laboratory. She joined the HSU faculty in 1989 and holds two degrees from HSU, the Bachelor of Science degree in education and the Master of Arts degree in English/Spanish. She was a teacher with Clyde ISD for 21 years and an adjunct Spanish teacher at HSU prior to earning a Ph.D. degree in Spanish from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, in 1992. While a teacher at Clyde High School, she was recipient of the Texas Excellence Award for Outstanding High School Teachers, given annually to only 10 teachers in the state. The afternoon charge to the graduates will be given by Travis Seekins, associate vice president for technology services. Seekins graduated summa cum laude from HSU in 1996. Seekins has served as president of the HSU Staff Council and is an avid runner, qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2010 by 16 seconds. Seekins has a special place in his heart for the Marathoning for a Miracle marathon in Abilene, which benefits the Children’s Miracle Network. He says the organization was a great help to his family after their son Alden was born prematurely. Travis says he will challenge the graduates to think with the heart of a first responder, the idea coming to him as the Boston bombings unfolded and heroes surfaced. Earning a master’s degree in music performance, Camille Skye will give a musical presentation from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. Skye was selected to perform in 2011 when she earned a bachelor’s degree from HSU. Also, four students have been selected to receive an award, which is a surprise to the student, to be given during the ceremony. The Minnie L. Anderson Award is presented to a senior woman who has spent three or more years in residence at Hardin-Simmons University, and who has excelled in character, personal development, and service to the university. A committee of HSU faculty and staff members nominates and votes on the recipient. Another undergraduate honor, The George Skiles Anderson Award, is presented to the senior man, who having spent three or more years in residence at Hardin-Simmons, has excelled in character, personal development, and service to the university. The Julius Olsen Medal was established by Dr. and Mrs. Julius Olsen in 1914 in memory of their son, Julius Nelson Olsen, and is awarded annually to the graduate who has the highest grade average, has exemplified the highest scholarly achievement, and has completed at least 90 semester hours of residence credit at Hardin-Simmons. The Hemphill Graduate Honor Award is presented by the Graduate School to recognize the graduate who has excelled in academic studies, possesses character and behavior consistent with the university’s purpose, and exhibits potential for significant contribution to his or her chosen field. Both ceremonies take place in HSU’s Behrens Auditorium.

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