Lindsey Wilson awarded a record 381 degrees at its 96th
commencement ceremony. The 109-year-old liberal arts college
awarded 194 undergraduate degrees and 187 graduate degrees. LWC's
previous record winter class was 365, which was graduated in 2010.
The college awarded 287 degrees at last winter's
Conway, who has been Kentucky's 49th attorney general since 2008,
reminded the graduates that being a college graduate is still rare
in Kentucky -- fewer than 20 percent of the commonwealth's
residents hold at least a baccalaureate degree.
"You have already earned something," he told the graduates and
more than 2,000 guests. "By flipping that tassel, you're the
leaders of our state. By flipping that tassel, you're the promise.
By flipping that tassel, you are our future. And we need you -- we
need you to launch a business, we need you to start a career, we
need you to raise a family, we need you to build our
Conway also urged the graduates to support efforts to increase the
number of Kentuckians with a college degree.
"I hope that since you are now amongst the leaders of our state
that you understand what our beloved commonwealth faces, and how
some things are keeping us from being all that we can be," he said.
"We must have an educational system where our public universities
and colleges collaborate, where we're not in an arms race of
buildings, where we understand the efficiencies, and we understand
where we are all in this together to have a public system of higher
education that raises those numbers over a generation."
Conway also told the graduates to enjoy the prestige of graduating
from Lindsey Wilson.
"Lindsey Wilson is an amazing, amazing institution," he said.
"Look at this place now -- one of our most distinguished four-year
institutions in the entire commonwealth, with amazing facilities,
proud graduates, and alumni that have gone on to distinction in
this state, our region and throughout the country. Lindsey Wilson
is indeed on an upward arc, and as graduates of Lindsey Wilson you
too are on that arc."
Conway received an honorary doctorate from the college's board
of trustees and faculty. Also receiving an honorary doctorate was
Columbia resident George Kolbenschlag. A retired Lindsey Wilson
vice president and faculty member, Kolbenschlag had a distinguished
career in the Navy and in the public relations profession before
coming to Lindsey Wilson in 1987. He retired from the college in
2004. Since moving to Columbia, Kolbenschlag and his wife, Yvonne,
have been among Adair County's most active citizens.
More ... Click here to see more than 650 pictures from
2012 winter commencement. Click here for a Storify of 2012 winter
commencement. Click here to watch the ceremony on Stretch
Internet. Go to "On Demand" and select the winter commencement
ceremony. Click here for pictures from the School of
Professional Counseling pinning ceremonies at the community