A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Campbellsville University graduates 313 students in largest ever December commencement ceremony

By Joan C. McKinney
Special to KyForward

Although the 313 graduates knew they were going to be honored, one 80-year-old woman in the audience had a surprise waiting for her.

Jan Parrott Robinson of Burgin attended Campbellsville Junior College in 1956-58, where she met her future husband, Gene Robinson, and where he and she became Mr. and Miss Campbellsville Junior College in 1958.

Robinson received her associate of science degree in social sciences, completing her requirements after almost 60 years, Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said.
She has a history rooted in Campbellsville. Her father, the late Rev. Henry Parrott, helped start Lowell Avenue Baptist Church in Campbellsville. She worked for many years for the National Grocers Association and would eventually become a lobbyist on their behalf in Frankfort, Ky.

Jan Parrott Robinson of Burgin, right, receives her associate of science degree in social sciences 60 years after having attended Campbellsville Junior College in 1956-58. At left is Campbellsville University president Dr. Michael V. Carter. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joshua Williams)

Robinson supported her husband in his endeavors in banking where he became a successful banker for Farmers National Bank in Danville.

Hedgepath said they have “lovingly” supported Burgin Baptist Church over the years with Robinson “faithfully” singing in the choir and Gene as the “craziest deacon” one of his previous pastors has ever known.

Hedgepath said both have attributed much of their success in life to Campbellsville Junior College, now Campbellsville University.

“Six decades later they continue to love Campbellsville University more and more with each passing year,” Hedgepath said.

In his charge to the graduates, in the ceremony in Ransdell Chapel, Carter urged the students to be servant leaders and to live forth the great attributes the Lord has taught us.

He told the graduates that leaders are those who empower those around them to do greater things than they think possible.

He urged them to live the attributes of the university’s seal in fellowship, leadership and scholarship.

Valedictorian of the class was Ashley Nicole Lee of Louisville, who received a bachelor of science degree in early childhood education.

Salutatorian was Cullen Faith Byrne of Danville, who received a bachelor of science degree in middle grades education/5-9.

In the 2 p.m. ceremony, Clark Hunter Tippett of Midway, who received a bachelor of science degree in sports ministry, urged the graduates to not take life too seriously and find joy in life.

Sarah Stults of Sonora, Ky. laughs after her commencement Friday, Dec. 15 from Campbellsville University. She received a bachelor of science in psychology graduating magna cum laude. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joshua Williams)

Erin Dawn Jarrett of Louisville, who received her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, told the students the world is suffering storm clouds, and she urged them to have a passion for service and to help heal the world one person at a time.

Darryl Peavler, director of alumni relations, a two-time graduate of Campbellsville University, welcomed the graduates into the CU Alumni Association, which has over 13,000 graduates.
He charged them to embrace their role as new alumni and to be proud Campbellsville University alumni, give back to the university and recruit students.

He told them to enjoy the moment and take time to reflect on their journey.

Degrees are conferred upon completion of all academic requirements.

Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs, presented the graduates. Henry Lee, chair of the CU Board of Trustees, gave the invocation at both ceremonies.

Dr. Wesley Roberts, professor of music, played the organ and piano, and Dr. Anne McNamara, assistant professor of music, was the trumpeter. Student Hyukki Park of Campbellsville, who received a master of music in vocal pedagogy and performance, sang “The Lord’s Prayer” at both ceremonies.

Dr. Tony Cunha, professor of music, led the congregational music.

Dr. Lisa Allen, associate professor of education and chair the graduate program in the School of Education, who serves as chair of the faculty forum, gave the benediction at both ceremonies.

For more information on Campbellsville University, visit campbellsville.edu.

Joan C. McKinney is director of the Office of University Communications at Campbellsville University

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