Bright sunshine and a blue sky greeted the 91 members of Randolph College’s Class of 2012 on Sunday, May 13. The class, which includes two graduate students earning master’s degrees, shared the special Mother’s Day ceremony in The Mabel K. Whiteside Greek Theatre with a crowd of family, friends, faculty, staff, alumnae, and alumni.
Four members of the Class of 2012 shared the annual Maude Huff Fife Award, which is presented to the student or students with the highest academic grade point average. The four graduates receiving the honor were Danielle Marie Robinson, Susannah Marie Lukens, Angelina M. Haines, and Joanna Elizabeth Bourque.
Josiah “Si” Bunting III, a member of the Randolph College Board of Trustees offered the Commencement address. Bunting also serves as president of The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation in New York City and is an adjunct professor at Princeton University. He has served as president of Briarcliff College and Hampden-Sydney College and was the superintendent of Virginia Military Institute (VMI) for eight years. An accomplished author, Bunting is a VMI graduate and Vietnam War veteran.
Bunting told the class that their liberal arts education would prepare them well for the profession they would all share in life—citizenship. He encouraged them to embrace that responsibility by opening their minds and listening to others, no matter what their political stance or view. “We must always embrace—you must always embrace—no matter what the cost to yourself, the positions of others and what you can learn from them and receive from the convictions of yourselves,” Bunting said. “Always reach across aisles with a spirit of learning and friendship.”
Bunting told the seniors they would be liberally educated and liberally self-educated for the rest of their lives. “Always stand up and say exactly what you think,” he said. “That is your heritage. Be an original.”
Derrick Woods-Morrow ’12, president of the senior class, congratulated his classmates on their hard work and perseverance and told them to appreciate the experiences they have received. “Our Randolph College education has taught us to be adventurous, open-minded, and seeking of momentous phases in life that are spurred by vast dreams,” he said.
He encouraged the graduates to remain confident as they head into the world. “It’s time to take that diploma and use it to be extraordinary people.”
John E. Klein, president of Randolph College, congratulated the Class of 2012 for their accomplishments and the impact they have had on the College. “Over the past four years, we have watched you grow, develop, and thrive,” Klein said. “We’ve seen you face challenges head on, discover new talents and passions, and learn to believe in yourself. You have carved your own path, while also preserving the traditions and commitment to learning that have long been the hallmarks of this great institution. You have become leaders in the classroom, on the stage, in the community, on the athletic field, and in every other aspect of campus life.
“Because of you, Randolph College is a better place.”
To read more about the 2012 Commencement ceremony, please see http://web.randolphcollege.edu/newsevents/pressreleases/news_detail.asp?id=1413.