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2012 Spring Commencement Live
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158 Degrees Conferred at 95th Commencement Ceremony

Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 [7:38 PM]


LWC 2012 Spring Commencement01
Graduates Alexander Wayne Kelsay of Columbia, left, Sara Keller of Greenville, Ind.,
center, and Kayla Johnson of Hawesville, Ky., move the tassel from the right side to
the left side of their mortar boards.

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Members of the second half of Lindsey Wilson College's Class of 2012 were told Saturday to "transform the world the same way that Lindsey Wilson College has transformed you."

The liberal arts college conferred a total of 158 undergraduate and graduate degrees at its 95th commencement ceremony, held Saturday morning in Biggers Sports Center. Combined with the degrees awarded at last December's winter commencement, LWC graduated a total of 445 undergraduate and graduate students this school year, the fourth largest class in the college's 109-year history. (To see more than 1,000 photos from 2012 spring commencent weekend, click here.)

In the commencement address, the Rev. Wayne Meisel of the Cousins Foundation told the spring graduates to ignore the gloomy statistics of entering the workforce during a challenging economic time.

"Don't look at the statistics. They are not helpful," said Meisel, who is director of faith and service at the Cousins Foundation of Atlanta. "You might get discouraged or feel defeated. The problem with statistics is they don't tell your story. What you need to know is the world is crying out for people who know how to love, who want to be needed, who have the support of a larger family like this one" at Lindsey Wilson.

Paraphrasing Archimedes' famous aphorism, Meisel told the graduates: "Lindsey Wilson College has given you that place to stand and you have already begun to move the world."

Meisel has been involved with LWC for almost a decade, including when he served as founder and president of The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation of Princeton, N.J.

"I am reminded of the line in (Harper Lee's novel) To Kill a Mocking Bird when Atticus tells his daughter, Scout, that in every lawyer's life there is a case that affects them personally," Meisel told the graduates and more than 2,500 guests. "And I guess Lindsey Wilson is my case that has affected me personally. It has given definition to my life's work."

Meisel, who graduated from Harvard University before becoming a national leader in the service-learning movement, said he has been impressed by Lindsey Wilson's mission and its strong sense of identity.

"There are two schools I am thinking about right now that don't get caught up in comparing themselves to others," Meisel said in his commencement address. "One is my alma mater, Harvard, who doesn't compare themselves to anyone because so many others are comparing themselves to Harvard. … I have never heard Lindsey Wilson compare itself to anyone. You, like Harvard, define yourself by your own standards, your own vision and your own expectations."

Lindsey Wilson's clear sense of institutional identity can serve as a lesson to other colleges and universities who are worried about the coming shake-up in U.S. higher education, Meisel said.

"The are some who ask, 'What is the value of a college campus if we can get educated on our own while looking at a computer while we sit at Starbucks while drinking a latte?'" Meisel said. "Those who think this way have not come to Columbia, Ky. They have not seen or heard the stories of transition and transformation that come from the result of a comforting, yet challenge community of higher education here at Lindsey Wilson."

Meisel received an honorary doctorate from LWC. Also receiving honorary doctorates from the college were: Allan Parnell of Louisville, Ky., an Adair County native who is founder and CEO of Mister "P" Express and chair of the Lindsey Wilson Board of Trustees; and Columbia resident Sue Stivers of Columbia, a community leader and longtime Lindsey Wilson trustee.

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Slideshow of the weekend:

To see more than 1,000 more photos from 2012 spring commencement weekend, click here.


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