Lancaster – About 500 degrees were recognized this spring at Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington. Approximately 140 of the graduates chose to walk in the Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington Honors Convocation Ceremony on Friday, May 3. The ceremony was held in the Brasee Hall Gymnasium on the Lancaster Campus.
"It is my privilege to welcome the candidates for graduation, honorees, families, students, faculty, staff, administrators, and friends to the 12th Annual Cap and Gown Lancaster Campus Honors Convocation," said Lancaster Campus Dean Jim Smith. "This is a special day for all of us as we honor the accomplishments of our students and faculty."
Ohio University Lancaster Assistant Professor Debra Smith was given the 2013 Ohio University Lancaster Campus Alumni Leadership Award.
"This award is about all of the alumni that have done what these graduates are doing tonight.They are going to receive a degree that will help shape their lives and their careers in ways they can't yet imagine," said Debra Smith. "But, they will also leave here, like all alumni have, with an understanding of hard work, perseverance, good character and a dedication to making the world a better place in every way that you can is just as much a part of the promise of being a graduate from Ohio University Lancaster as anything written on the diploma.So, on behalf of all alumni, past and future, I accept this award very humbly and with lots of gratitude."
Cody Sarensen, who is the president of Alpha Phi Omega and a member of the OUL Basketball team, spoke for the students.
"We would not be here today celebrating this moment without the faculty, staff and administrators at Ohio University Lancaster," said Sarensen. "And we would be experiencing this journey alone if it had not been for all the family, friends and loved ones who are here with us today."
2012 Professor of the Year Sandy Doty made the commencement address. She said her time as a professor at Ohio University Lancaster has changed her. Doty said the students, who work to get a college degree while facing many challenges, are her heroes.
"This moment, this very moment today is proof that you can do anything, absolutely anything," said Doty. "If you want it, if you try."
Each year, Lancaster students who are members of the national honor society Phi Theta Kappa conduct a rigorous selection process to recognize a faculty member for excellence in teaching and the promotion of learning both inside and outside the classroom. The student selection committee solicits nominations, gathers supporting materials, and may visit classrooms as they make their choice. Phi Theta Kappa President Todd McCullough announced the winner of the 2013 Professor of the Year Award. The award went to Business Management Professor Brian Hoyt.
"Without Professor Hoyt, I'm walking across this stage a different person, a lesser person," said McCullough. "He has challenged me, inspired me, encouraged me, built me up and tore me down several times and then built me back up again."
Students were then called up one by one to receive their diplomas. They walked across the platform and were cheered on by their family and friends in the audience. Each graduate was greeted by Dean Smith and Associate Dean Paul Abraham and Doty. Each graduate then returned to their seats.
"We have reached that point in the ceremony that the students have been waiting for," said Smith. "I'd like to ask our candidates for graduation to please stand.Please move your tassels from the right to the left, signifying that you have completed your course of study. Congratulations to all of you."
The event ended with the new graduates and their guests singing the Ohio University Alma Mater.