WESTERN KY (12/29/11) – BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Western Kentucky University’s fall 2011 graduates shared memories and waved red towels Saturday morning as they wrapped up their undergraduate careers on the Hill.
“As you prepare to move to the next chapter of your life, you take with you years of memories and experiences,” President Gary Ransdell told graduates as he introduced a video that featured “Forever Young” and used photos and video messages about the WKU experience. “Your life has been shaped by your WKU experience, and WKU has been shaped by your influence.”
Dr. Ransdell urged the members of the Class of 2011 to use their WKU experience to make a positive impact on their communities and the world. “I know you are good at multitasking, but I encourage you not to spread yourself too thin and to be all in at whatever you do,” he said. “Don’t lean back – lean in. Put your foot to the gas pedal and keep it there. Be passionate. Find things and people that you care about and invest in them with your heart, your soul and your mind.”
In the weekend ceremonies of its 170th Commencement, WKU conferred degrees to 1,196 students – 72 associates degrees, 867 baccalaureate degrees, 248 master’s degrees, two specialist in education degrees and seven doctoral degrees in educational leadership.
Ogden Foundation Scholar
Andrea Wellkamp, an international business major from Louisville, was recognized as the Ogden Foundation Scholar. WKU’s top academic honor is presented to one graduating baccalaureate degree senior who has demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and outstanding university and civic engagement.
Wellkamp, the daughter of Jeff and Lori Wellkamp, was also recognized as the Scholar of the Gordon Ford College of Business.
Wellkamp, an Honors program graduate, is president of WKU’s chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society, a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Order of Omega and Gamma Sigma Alpha, and was coordinator of the spring 2011 Rock for the Hungry Benefit Concert.
Wellkamp, who minored in textiles and apparel merchandising, spent the fall 2009 semester on a Study Abroad trip to Harlaxton College and has participated in numerous leadership, service and philanthropic activities.
Wellkamp said her experiences inside and outside the classroom at WKU have prepared her to be a global business leader. “I am incredibly thankful for the numerous opportunities that WKU has provided me in my effort to make a difference in our world,” she said.
Scholars of the College awards
WKU also recognized seven other Scholars of the College, who had the highest GPAs in their colleges while completing at least 54 credit hours at WKU.
College of Health and Human Services: Victoria Faul of Oakland, a nursing major and daughter of Dr. Tim and Beth Faul.
College of Education and Behavioral Sciences: Adrienne Turner of Burkesville, an elementary education major and daughter of Jacqueline Turner and the late Curtis Turner.
Ogden College of Science and Engineering: Megan Hoover of Santa Claus, Ind., a medical technology major and daughter of Mike and Marcia Hoover; Whitney Miller of Bowling Green, a mathematics major and daughter of Johnny and Karen Miller; Angela Oulay of Bowling Green, a biology and chemistry major and daughter of Noy and Phong Oulay.
University College: Clyde Baker of Elizabethtown, a systems management major and husband of Barbara Baker.
Potter College of Arts & Letters: Ellen Murrey of Glasgow, a music major and daughter of Harrell and Loretta Murrey.
The following Hilltopper Army ROTC graduates were commissioned as second lieutenants: Morgan T. Brown of Bowling Green, Paul Chandler of Tompkinsville, Victor Farrar of Campbellsville and Thomas Shirley of Magnolia.
*Dr. Blaine Ferrell, who is retiring after 33 years at WKU, recognized graduates of Ogden College of Science and Engineering in his final ceremony as dean. Dr. Ferrell has served as a faculty member and head of the Biology Department and has been Ogden College dean for nine years.
“Over the years of Dean Ferrell’s leadership, the Ogden College has graduated no less than 4,700 students with associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees,” Provost Gordon Emslie said. “He leaves behind an enduring legacy of excellence in teaching and scholarship.”
*The processional included flags of the United States and 14 countries; the fall graduating class included 47 international students.
*DVDs of the undergraduate ceremony are available for $35 each and can ordered at www.wkyupbs.org; inquiries should be made to WKYU-PBS at (800) 599-2424.
Information provided by the WKU
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