Sunday, May 12, 2013

Randolph College congratulates the Class of 2013!

With the sun showing a welcome appearance after a week of heavy rain, 119 members of the Class of 2013 spent their Mother’s Day under a beautiful sky in the Dell celebrating Commencement with their families and friends. 

The class, which includes 9 students earning master’s degrees, represents 19 states and 13 countries. Eleven were named to Phi Beta Kappa.

Lieutenant Governor of Virginia William “Bill” Bolling, the 2013 Commencement speaker, told the graduates their lives were unpainted pictures and there was only one person who could determine what that picture would be. “You are the artist,” he said. “Paint the picture well.”

He challenged students to set lofty goals, dream big, and work hard. “Living a successful life is about much more than what you might achieve academically or professionally,” he said. 

Faith, family, and giving back are all important to living a full life, Bolling added. “Some of the greatest blessings I’ve had in life haven’t come from who I am or what I do or what I earn or what I have,” he said. “They come from taking the time to reach out and to try and make a difference in someone else’s life.”

He urged the graduates to pursue their passions. “I hope you will never forget the need to dream big dreams and set lofty goals for your life,” Bolling said. “And I hope you will never be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. If you’ll do that, you will look back on the picture that will become the rest of your life…and you will like what you see.”

Randolph President John E. Klein also encouraged students to remember the College’s motto and to live the life more abundant. Klein is retiring in June after a six-year tenure. “When you look back on your time at Randolph, I hope that you will see how your life has been transformed,” Klein said. “I know that being a part of this journey with you has transformed mine.”

Klein congratulated the class on their significant contributions to Randolph. “You have carved your own path, while also preserving the College’s traditions and the commitment to learning that has long been a hallmark of this institution,” he said. “You have become leaders, developed your talents, and excelled in the classroom, on the stage, and in the athletic arena. In the process, you have made your mark on Randolph College.”

Colton Hunt ’13 was awarded the prestigious Maude Huff Fife Award at Commencement. The award, which is named for a graduate of the Class of 1918, is given to the senior with the highest quality point ratio. 

“This year’s recipient has consistently demonstrated the breadth of interest, dedication, and achievement that makes him the quintessential liberally educated person,” said Carl Girelli, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. “He has earned a QPR that leaves virtually no room for improvement, and makes one wonder which question on which exam he might have missed.”

Hunt completed a major in economics, an independently-designed minor in finance, and an additional minor in physics. In addition to being named to Phi Beta Kappa, Hunt earned membership in Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international economics honors society and the Sigma Pi Sigma physics honor society. Colton has also earned his share of awards on the basketball court, including being named the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American of the Year, the ODAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and the national 2013 Josten’s Trophy award. 

Cameron Hall ’13, the senior class president, encouraged his classmates to make their diploma the base of their mountain and “the beginning of a life of ascension and accomplishment” and to never see “no” as anything other than an opportunity to grow and reassess how to use their talents.

“Just as we have transformed our campus, though, I hope that we have all let the campus transform us,” he said. “We were privileged with being residents of a school with a unique deeply rooted identity complimented by programs that were built to provide us with relationships and venues that are unparalleled.

“…We have the means,” he added, “to transform the world as we leave today, and it is up to us to figure out how we might leave our mark.”

Before closing the ceremony, Klein reminded the graduates that Randolph would always be there to welcome them home. “Go out and do more than make a life,” he said. “Make a difference. Vita abundantior.”