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2009 Winter Commencement Advance
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314 Degrees to be Awarded at 2009 Winter Commencement

Posted on Thursday, December 03, 2009 [4:02 PM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- More than 300 students will receive degrees from Lindsey Wilson College Dec. 12 at the college's winter commencement ceremony.

Lindsey Wilson will celebrate its 90th commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. CT Saturday, Dec. 12, in Biggers Sports Center. A total of 314 students will be awarded degrees. It is the second largest winter commencement class in the college's history.

Following the ceremony, the Lindsey Wilson National Alumni Association will hold a reception for graduates and their guests in Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center.

Retired Kentucky Hall of Fame journalist David Hawpe will deliver the commencement address.

The Dec. 12 ceremony will be Lindsey Wilson's sixth winter commencement, and it will also be the second largest winter commencement ceremony held at the college. LWC graduated a record 325 students in December 2008.

To put this year's winter commencement in perspective, Lindsey Wilson awarded 335 degrees during the 2003-04 school year, the last school year it held just one commencement ceremony.

"We began winter commencement out of necessity -- we didn't have enough space to accommodate our record-setting graduating classes," said LWC President William T. Luckey Jr., who is in his 12th year as the college's eighth president. "But what's happened is that winter commencement has turned into a wonderful December event on campus. It's a great way to mark the end of the calendar year because it's a celebration of our students and their family members."

At Saturday morning's ceremony, Lindsey Wilson will award a total of 182 undergraduate degrees and 132 graduate degrees. A total of 219 of the graduates are Kentucky residents.

"The single most important factor that will determine Kentucky's place in the 21st century's global economy will be increasing its number of citizens with a college degree," Luckey said. "That's why it's so gratifying that more than 70 percent of our winter graduates are from Kentucky. These graduates will be the foundation of building a better future for all of Kentucky."

Hawpe, the commencement speaker, is the former editor of The Courier-Journal. Born in Pikeville, Ky., into a family that had been in the Appalachian Mountains for generations, Hawpe grew up in Louisville. He graduated from the University of Kentucky, where he was a staff member of the Kentucky Kernel, the university's nationally award-winning student newspaper.

Hawpe spent two years with The Associated Press then and two years as an editorial writer for the St. Petersburg Times, where he covered the 1968 national political conventions and the Apollo II moonshot.

He returned to Kentucky in 1969 to serve as mountain correspondent for The Courier-Journal, living in Hazard and covering the health, safety and environmental issues associated with coal mining as well as the government anti-poverty programs of that era.

He was also copy editor, assistant state editor, city editor of The Louisville Times and managing editor of The Courier-Journal. He was named editor in 1987.

During his tenure as Courier-Journal assistant state editor, the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire. While Courier-Journal managing editor, the paper sent Joel Brinkley and Jay Mather to the Thai-Cambodia border, where they reported on the refugees from the "Killing Fields" and won a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. While he was Courier-Journal editor, the newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Carrollton, Ky., bus crash.

Hawpe retired from the Courier-Journal as its editorial director/vice president earlier this year.

Hawpe has been president of the Kentucky Press Association. He is a founding member of the University of North Carolina School of Journalism Board of Visitors, which he chaired. He also is a long-time member of the Indiana University student publications board, and the board of visitors at the University of Kentucky School of Journalism & Telecommunications. Hawpe was also a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where he taught a course in Appalachian studies. He is a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.

Hawpe will receive an honorary doctorate from the college. Also being honored by the Lindsey Wilson Board of Trustees and faculty with an honorary doctorate will be: Frances Smothers of Louisville, Ky., and Bill Squires of Greensburg, Ky.

Smothers and her late husband, Leo, have supported the Lindsey Wilson Fund for more than 35 years. In fact, Smothers has faithfully given monthly to the Lindsey Wilson Fund for the last 32 years.

Squires is a former assistant for gift planning to the Lindsey Wilson president and retried executive director of The Kentucky United Methodist Foundation.

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