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Catawba College Holds Opening Convocation

September 07, 2005

Category: Academics, Events, Faculty, Staff, Students


Members of the Catawba College community paused for a moment of silence to recognize the victims of Hurricane Katrina when they gathered for fall convocation Thursday, September 1 in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel.   Then, College President Robert E. Knott officially convened the college for its 154th academic year.

At the convocation, college faculty and staff members were recognized for their years of service to the institution.   Seniors, clad in caps and gowns, were also recognized as they began their final academic year at the institution with an eye to a May 2006 graduation date.

Knott urged those gathered to consider Catawba’s motto: “Our purpose: your promise,” and said it has a double meaning.   “We commit to assisting you with the promise of realizing your true potential, and collectively, we look at that promise as a way to fulfill our purpose as an institution to lead students to pursue intellectual freedom not just learning from books, but learning from the decisions they make and dealing with those decisions which have consequences.”

Catawba’s goal, Knott continued, was to help students “choose that which is worthy.” “We pursue wisdom or understanding hears as the center of our purpose, therefore it is our promise to you.”

Faculty & Staff Recognized
Employees of the College were also recognized at the convocation ceremony for their years of service to the institution.  

Recognized for 20 years of service were Susan Agner, director of administrative computing; Julia Baranski, administrative assistant for the academic resource center; Dr. Edith Bolick, associate dean of Lifelong Learning; Carol Gamble, registrar; and Julia Hayes, assistant professor of English.  

Three individuals marked 15 years of service including Ginger Hamric, head coach of volleyball and instructor of physical education; Jerry Boger, a member of the housekeeping staff; and Bob Casmus, instructor in athletic training.  

Five individuals were recognized for 10 years of service.   They were Peter Bourque, head coach of lacrosse and assistant athletic director for facilities; Sylvia Chillcott, director of public safety; Chip Hester, head coach of football; Dr. Robert Knott, college president; and Margaret Faust, director of alumni and parent relations.  

Recognized for five years of service were Dr. Philip Cavalier, associate professor of English and assistant dean of the college; Dr. Steve Etters, associate professor of music; Candy Fesperman, a nurse in the Proctor Health Center; Richard Pickel, a network/PC engineer; Dr. Joe Poston, assistant professor of biology; Jim Tomsula, assistant football coach; and Laura Q. VanDenBerg, director of graphic services.  

The Length of Service Recognition Program is a project of the College’s Staff Personnel Committee.   Employees are recognized for their service to the College at five-year increments from their hire date.

Catawba's Junior Marshals Recognized
Fifteen junior class students were also recognized during Opening Convocation for both their academic achievements and their willingness to serve the College as Junior Marshals.  

Each year, Junior Marshals are chosen from the rising junior class on the basis of academic excellence.   They are among the most honored students on campus and officially represent the College in the formal ceremonies of the academic year, including Opening Convocation, Awards Convocation, Baccalaureate and Commencement, where they add order and dignity to the proceedings.   Additionally, the Junior Marshals serve at other college functions such as the Service of Lessons and Carols, special assemblies and presidential social gatherings.  

Junior Marshals for the 2005-2006 academic year include Eva Joy Manney, a political science: American politics and history major from Olmstead Falls, Ohio; Amy Kathleen Guenther, a theatre arts major from Asheville; Hayley Michelle Bollinger, a business administration major from Simpsonville, S.C.; Lauren Marie Ebersole, a political science: international relations major from Hagerstown, Md.; Tamara Lynn May, an athletic training major from Gold Hill; Victoria Shay Hamilton, an English major from Wake Forest; Kristen Anne Phillips, an athletic training and physical education major from Hartwood, Va.; Jessica Ann Moretti, a theatre arts major from Charlotte; Lauren Jean Eller, an athletic training major from Alpharetta, Ga.; Diana Marie Proffen, a religion and philosophy major from Highland, Md.; Nikolas Dewight Kear, a theatre arts major from Gatlinburg, Tenn.; Jared William Wietbrock, a theatre arts major from Loganville, Ga.; Derek William Rodgers, an environmental science major from Glen Burnie, Md.; Amanda Beth Wilson, a therapeutic recreation major from China Grove; and Amanda Michelle Nantz, a physical education major from Troutman.