Grads Honored at 2017 Spring Convocation

Ted Herr speaks for the class of 2017

At its spring convocation on Friday evening, May 12th, the College of Business and Technology honored 291 bachelor's degrees, 25 master's degrees, and 23 associate degrees for a total of 339 degree candidates. The ceremony was held in the Alumni Coliseum on EKU's campus at 6:30 pm.

Ms. Sharon A. Ritchey ('81 BBA, Marketing; '83 MBA), senior advisor to the financial services industry, was the keynote speaker. From her years of experience, Ritchey encouraged graduates to embrace her Five ingredients to Success -- Have a passion for what you do; Have the courage to take risks and learn from failure. Be a self-starter and take initiative; Be curious, ask questions and connect the dots; and finally, Set goals.

Speaking on behalf of the graduating class was Mr. Ted Herr (BS, Animal Science; BS, Agronomy, Soils & Natural Resources), from Bucyrus, Ohio. Highly recommended by faculty, Ted served two terms in the Student Senate and plans to continue as a graduate student. In addition to working part time at the EKU Center for the Arts and serving on the Student Government Association, Ted has solid academic research to his credit. He developed and designed an extension bulletin for fitting and showing sheep and collaborated with University officials to build a targeted grazing program - garnering regional publicity with the Katahdin sheep project. After graduation, Ted plans to work on his masters in Agricultural Operations and Management at EKU and continue to research with faculty.

Dr. Karen Hood Hopkins, Assistant Professor of Marketing, performed "The National Anthem" and "My Old Kentucky Home". The EKU Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Jeremy Mulholland, provided music for the event. ROTC Cadets from the Colonel's Battalion provided the Color Guard. Masters students were hooded in a special ceremony before undergraduate candidates received their diploma covers. Ms. Jan Barnes, Vice President of the EKU International Alumni Association, brought greetings to EKU's newest alumni.

Bearing the College banner was Ms. Susan Brooke Darnell (BS, Agriculture Education) from Cynthiana. Having grown up on a farm, she developed a deep love for the land and came to EKU to learn how to teach agriculture to high school students. She says that Eastern will not only hold a place in her heart and is a great place to get an education. Susan feels honored to call herself an EKU alum.

Carrying the banner for the School of Applied Sciences and Technology was Mr. Joshua C. Dunn (BS, Network Security and Electronics) from Alexandria. While at Eastern, Joshua was a resident advisor and Parliamentarian for the Residence Hall Association and also served as Sergeant at Arms for the Student Senate. He credits the close friendships formed and support from faculty for much of his success and says that he was afforded a great opportunity to come to one of the best institutions in the state and, in his opinion, the nation.

The School of Business banner was carried by Ms. Karlee A. Tanel (BBA, Human Resource Management, Spanish minor) from Cedarburg, Wisconsin. At first she did not think that EKU was an obvious choice. But came to a Spotlight visit with her mom, who is an EKU graduate, and fell in love with the campus. Karlee is an Honors Scholar, a Patterson Scholar, a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, was a Colonel Camp leader, and works at the EKU Center for the Arts. She was also elected Homecoming Queen in 2016. Karlee has studied abroad in Spain and plans to work in training and development – hopefully in a job that will allow her to travel and see new things. Long term, Karlee is looking at becoming a professor and perhaps later the president of a university.

After the ceremony, graduates and their families enjoyed a special treat - CBT's Biz-Tec Blast ice cream from Mad Scoops. Upbeat music was provided by Kentucky Pro DJ Jason Henninger.

Video of the ceremony may be seen at

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Published on May 15, 2017