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College News

More Than 300 Catawba College Students to Graduate May 7

April 28, 2005

Category: Students


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 Again this year, you will need a ticket if you plan to attend one of Catawba College’s two graduation exercises slated for Saturday, May 7 in Keppel Auditorium of the Robertson College-Community Center on campus.

On that day, over 200 students in the College’s traditional day program will participate in a 10 a.m. exercise, while more than 100 adult students in the College’s Lifelong Learning program will receive their diplomas in a 2 p.m. exercise.   Each prospective graduate has been given a limited number of tickets for their friends and family, and college officials note that persons without a ticket should not expect to be seated in the auditorium.

“We were successful last year handling the overflow of visitors with two video simulcasts set up in Hedrick Theatre and in Peeler Crystal Lounge,” says Margaret Wilsey, Catawba’s director of alumni and parent relations.   “Quite a number of guests with small children took advantage of these locations, and these arrangements also allowed us to accommodate unticketed guests in a comfortable fashion.”

Wilsey notes interest in both graduation exercises is strong because many of Catawba College’s graduates are the first in their families to attend college. “The faculty and staff here work diligently to make sure that this final event in the college lives of our students is a very special experience.” she concludes.

Catawba College officials say moving the College’s commencement exercises indoors has taken the uncertainty out of the event. From 1999 through 2003, commencement was held outdoors and the threat of inclement weather always loomed.   In the decades prior to the move outdoors, the ceremony was held in 1,450-seat Keppel Auditorium.

Dr. Robert Knott, Catawba College president, will deliver his charge to each group of graduates and the duration of each ceremony on May 7 is expected to be approximately two hours. The Whitener Awards, given annually to the top academic male and female in the traditional program’s graduating class, will be presented during the 10 a.m. exercise, while the Barbara Andrews Award, given annually to the top academic student in the evening program, will be presented during the 2 p.m. exercise.   The presentation of the O.B. Michael Award, given annually to an outstanding Catawba alumnus or alumna, will be made during the 10 a.m. ceremony.

Catawba’s Baccalaureate Service is one that seniors from both the traditional day and the Lifelong Learning programs will attend.   It is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 6 in the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on campus and tickets are not required.   Catawba College alumnus, the Reverend N. Fred Jordan ’67 of Brevard, will be the speaker with remarks entitled, “Crossroads.”   Jordan’s daughter, Margaret, is a member of Catawba’s 2005 graduating class and his mother, late Katherine Wagoner Jordan, was a 1941 Catawba alumna. Jordan earned his master’s of divinity degree from Duke Divinity School.   Since 2001, he has served as pastor of Brevard First United Methodist Church.

Following the Baccalaureate Service, the graduating class will process by candlelight in the traditional Marshal’s Walk from the chapel, along Oliver’s Way, to the exterior of the Robertson College-Community.   The procession will be led by bagpiper Patrick Coleman of Brecksville, Ohio, whose son Connor Coleman is also among Catawba’s graduating seniors.