Graduates Recognized at Commencement

Perry.jpgA pair of commencement ceremonies brought friends and family of Central Methodist University graduates from all over to Fayette on Saturday, May 8. Nearly 200 graduates in total walked across the stage in Puckett Fieldhouse to receive their master’s, bachelor’s, and associate’s degrees.

A highlight of the ceremonies was the commencement speech by outgoing Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Robert “Tad” Perry ’65. Perry, who received an honorary doctorate on the occasion as well. Perry compiled some of his favorite advice from “some of the great commencement speeches” and added plenty of wisdom of his own.

One of the main components of Perry’s speech was breaking down the letters CMU into specific advice for the graduates to remember. The letter C, he said, stands for “caring about relationships,” M is for “managing the change that confronts you,” and U is for “understanding the privileges and responsibilities you have.” Perry also encouraged the graduates to heed the words of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church: “Do all the good you can do, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, so long as ever you can.”

Following Perry’s address, those graduating with honors and receiving awards were recognized. As usual, three students were highlighted as the top award-winners based on the opinions of the CMU community.

Peters.jpgCentral’s most prestigious award, the Selecman Award, this year went to Shannon Peters of Waverly, Mo. The award was established in 1957 by Bishop Charles C. Selecman, a former student at Central Methodist University and a bishop in the United Methodist Church. He requested that the award be presented to the student who has displayed the following characteristics to an extraordinary degree: good citizenship on the campus, scholarship, religious leadership, moral and spiritual qualities, and outstanding achievement.

Peters, a past president of the Student Government Association, certainly fit the requirements of the award. In addition to her service to SGA, she was a member of the volleyball team and a Heart Conference Freshman of the Year player, recruitment chair for Theta Chi Epsilon, and member of the Heart of America Student Association and Champions of Character. A dean’s list member every semester, she graduated with a degree in biology and a 4.0 grade point average.

The Victoria Award, given each year in memory of Victoria Beecroft Cutter to a graduating student who best demonstrated dedication to the principles of Central Methodist University, went to Martina Florido of Kansas City, Mo. Florido majored in political science and comparative religion and philosophy. She was the founder and president of the Philosophy Club, treasurer of the African American Student Union, and a founding member and team captain of the Mock Trial team.

This year’s Human Relations Award winner was Nehemiah Colyer of St. Louis, Mo. The award is given annually to the student “showing the most promise in human relations and human adjustment,” who “attempts to develop the ability to get along with others and work with others.” Colyer, who was unable to attend commencement due to competing with the CMU track and field team on the day, majored in interdisciplinary studies and physical therapy assistance. He is a track and field captain, an All-American, and a National Champion of Character.

Photos of the winners, along with all the other images of the day, can be found on the Central Methodist University Facebook page.

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