COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Lindsey Wilson
College's spring graduates were told to think global, act local
during Saturday morning's spring commencement ceremony.
In his commencement address, former Romanian cosmonaut
Dumitru Dorin Prunariu told the liberal arts
college's graduates to build their careers with a broad
"One way or another, many of us interact globally. It is highly
important that we should do it with open heart and dedication, for
all human beings, for our communities," Prunariu said.
The liberal arts college awarded a total of 246 undergraduate
and graduate degrees at its 99th commencement ceremony, held in
Biggers Sports Center before a crowd of more than 3,000 people.
Combined with 418 degrees awarded in December at winter
commencement, LWC's Class of 2014 is record 664 graduates, the most
in the 111 years of the college. That is 57 more students than
LWC's previous largest class, which was set last academic year.
In May 1981, Prunariu became the only Romanian-born cosmonaut
and the 103rd human to fly into outer space. He and Russian
cosmonaut Leonid Popov completed an eight-day space mission aboard
Soyuz 40 and the Salyut 6 space laboratory. That made Prunariu a
member of one of the world's most elite organizations: the
Association of Space Explorers. The association includes persons
who have completed at least one orbit of the Earth in space --
currently more than 325 individuals from 35 countries.
"As an individual, the most significant experience during a
spaceflight is the human experience. … Seen from cosmic heights,
our planet looks fabulous," Prunariu said. "By traveling 16 orbits
around the Earth every 24 hours, one can admire all the areas on
But Prunariu said that orbiting the Earth can also be a
"One can also see, unfortunately, the wounds caused to our
planet by the reckless activity of man in his struggle for
resources at any price, the disposal of waste in various places on
our planet, the deforestation of our oxygen stocks, the Equatorial
forests, and many other things," he said. "When you fly in the
outer space and you see the planet as a whole, you understand the
global consequences of local activities of human communities
and the need -- for our health's sake and for the future
generations' sake -- to keep our planet clean, as we keep clean our
In addition to being good stewards of the Earth, Prunariu told
the graduates to set and strived toward goals.
"It is of utmost importance, when we become aware enough
of our potential place in society, to set goals and to start
fulfilling these goals diligently," he said. "This is where the
real journey of our becoming starts."
Prunariu, who received an honorary doctorate from the college,
cautioned the graduates that they should not become so consumed in
reaching their goals that they forget about the "human
"Our main individual goal is to have a better life, to ensure a
future for our families and for our jobs, and a future without
deprivation and material shortages," he said. "Let us not
forget that money is just a means to achieve something, not a goal
in itself. Let us not forget, in this context, about human beings
who have less chances than us and they may need our help."
Before the commencement ceremony, 11 members of the Class of
1964 were inducted into the Golden Alumni Society.
Alumni are installed into the organization on the occasion of their
50-year reunion at the college.
The new inductees are: Rebecca Bennett Brecht
of Radcliff, Ky.; Ben C. Burr of Bardstown, Ky.;
Daniel William Dewald of Mount Vernon, Ohio;
Kenneth George of Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich.;
Audrey Pederson Langos of Lancaster, Ohio;
Janice Branstetter Morgan of Crestwood, Ky.;
John Perin of Cincinnati; Robert C.
Simpson of Lexington, Ky.; JoAnne Peden
Smith of Horse Cave, Ky.; Margaret Fisher Janas
Srack of Silver City, N.M.; and Neil S.
Stawser of Loveland, Ohio.
On Friday, May 9, a record crowd attended the
Senior Banquet, sponsored by the LWC National Alumni Association
and held in Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center. That
was followed by the baccalaureate service, held in V.P. Henry
The weekend's festivities unofficially kicked off
Thursday, May 8, with the Nursing Division's
pinning and recognition ceremony, held in V.P. Henry Auditorium.
The ceremony included the presentation of the inaugural
Elizabeth Lowe Whitfield Nursing Professional Development
Award. The award is named in honor of the late Adair
County native Elizabeth Lowe Whitfield, who graduated from the
college and served on the board of trustees for more than 30 years.
Rachel Hope Ray of White Mills, Ky., received the
More ... Click here to see more than 1,000 pictures
from commemcement activities. Click here to watch the commencement ceremony
and baccalaureate service. Select the "On Demand" tab.
Scenes from Nursing's
Pinning & Recognition Ceremony