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Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will speak at Transylvania University’s commencement ceremony Saturday, May 24, at 9:30 a.m. in front of historic Old Morrison. Receiving degrees will be 246 graduates.
“Transylvania University has produced smart, well-rounded and well-equipped graduates longer than any other institution in Kentucky, and I am honored to serve as the commencement speaker,” said Beshear. “I’m looking forward to sharing a few pieces of hard-earned advice before these bright young men and women venture out into Kentucky and the rest of the world. I am confident that they’re going to make our Commonwealth very proud.”
Transylvania senior Karl Alexander Schmitt, a biology major from Fort Mitchell, will give the student address, “What’s in a Name?”
During the commencement ceremony, Transylvania will also award an honorary doctor of humane letters to two alumni: Lula Morton Drewes and Patrick H. Molloy.
Drewes, a Lexington native and graduate of Bryan Station High School, was the first African American student to receive a degree from Transylvania. He went on to earn a doctorate from Vanderbilt University and today is a clinical psychologist and licensed wellness coach.
Molloy, formerly an assistant U.S. attorney in both Texas and Kentucky, is also a Lexington native. He received a law degree from the University of Kentucky in 1967, and unbeknownst to Drewes, Molloy was responsible for providing the scholarship funds necessary for her to complete her education at Transylvania.
Molloy’s friend Michael Mitchell will receive the President’s Award for his role in supporting Drewes’ matriculation at Transylvania.
The Class of 2014 in unique in the following ways:
· More than a third of the class will receive honors in their academic program areas,
· Four designed their own majors in women’s studies, neuroscience (which is now a regularly offered major) and environmental studies and sustainability,
· More than half, or 58 percent, of the seniors studied abroad or did internships in 36 countries,
· Over four years, the seniors have devoted more than 2,000 hours to community service and advocacy, and many will continue working professionally for various nonprofits, and
· Many graduates have received grants and fellowships to continue their education in various ways and at a number of institutions from pursuing a doctorate in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology at Johns Hopkins University to studying culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in New Zealand to analyzing tobacco advertising at Duke University and to translating ancient Chinese texts at a Buddhist monastery in California.