A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Campbellsville University graduates more than 2,200 in school’s second August commencement ceremony


By Joan C. McKinney
Campbellsville University

A former Fortune 500 executive and Campbellsville graduate told 2,208 students of the wisdom she gained during her time at the university during the second August commencement ceremony in the school’s history last week.

Michelle Ivy Oak of Louisville received her Master in Marriage and Family Therapy as she urged her fellow graduates to “remember the steps you took to obtain this degree and the knowledge you have acquired.

From left, Michelle Ivy Oak and Angela Hall take a selfie during the graduate walk before the August commencement ceremony on Aug. 23 at Campbellsville University. (Photo by Ariel E. Emberton)

“I invite you to feel the happiness in your heart. Don’t let anyone tell you can’t, because you can,”
Oak said, “Walking beside people who are different than you but who give you strength when you are weak; who challenge you when you need to be pushed; and who lift you higher when you are successful – these are the people I have encountered at Campbellsville University.”

Oak gave the response to the charge from Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, who is in his 21st year. The seal has the words fellowship, leadership and scholarship on it, and Carter said, “Our world has never needed fellowship today more than ever.” He urged the graduates to go in peace, grace and harmony.

He defined leadership as people following a leader who urges them to do more than they thought possible. He told the graduates to stay abreast of knowledge in this digital age and be life-long learners.

“Be, do and make the seal of Campbellsville University relevant for CU and the kingdom of God,” he said.
Two honorary doctorate degrees were awarded. Roy Rich of Elizabethtown, was presented the honorary Doctorate of Environmental Entrepreneurial Leadership for his entrepreneurial leadership in the pest control business – E-town Pest Control.

One of Rich’s lasting contributions has been his work in helping establish a “short course” at the University of Kentucky which has been described as one of the best pest control conferences in the country. He and the late Dr. Pass, a leading entomologist at the University of Kentucky, started this training in 1970 and it continues in 2019 – some 49 years later. This has been the standard for training pest control experts.

Palla Pedda Subbarayudu of Hyderabad, India, center, is presented his honorary Doctorate in Global Entrepreneurial leadership by Dr. Michael V. Carter, left, president of Campbellsville University, and Henry Lee, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs, is in back. (Photo by Joshua Williams)

Palla Pedda Subbarayudu of Hyderabad, India was presented an honorary Doctorate of Global Entrepreneurial Leadership. Palla, began his career with a Christian organization that developed agriculture land and gave it away to poor families. He was the first person in his region to receive the coveted National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Certificate – opening the way for hundreds of thousands of farmers to enter agriculture business. He worked for the State Bank of India for 33 years rising to national leadership as a bank project evaluator. Following his tenure with the Bank of India, he became a leader in private agriculture development projects.

Carter said Palla’s announced last year his support to provide new classrooms and offices in downtown Hyderabad when CU initiates its programs in India – starting in January 2020.

Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs, officially presented the graduates to President Carter, who conferred the degrees. Degrees are conferred upon completion of all academic requirements.

Darryl Peavler, a 2003 undergraduate and 2005 graduate student at Campbellsville University, who recently moved from director of alumni relations to director of athletic alumni, told the graduates to work hard as they become new alumni of Campbellsville University.

Henry Lee of Campbellsville, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, gave the invocation at the ceremony. Dr. H. Keith Spears, senior vice president and assistant to the president, gave the benediction.

Dr. Tony Cunha, dean of the School of Music and associate professor of music, led in the singing of “The Solid Rock” and “Campbellsville, We Love Thee.”

Dr. Bill Budai, associate professor of piano, played the processional and recessional, “Procession at Troldhaugen” by Edvard Grieg, and “Polonaise in A Major, Op. 40 N 1” by Federic Chopin.

Joan C. McKinney is the director of university communications for Campbellsville University


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