Judson College holds its 180th commencement

Judson College holds its 180th commencement

Sixty-seven graduates were recognized June 23 at Judson College’s 180th commencement.

Families and friends joined graduates in historic Alumnae Auditorium for the conferring of associate degrees in nursing and bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and bachelor of social work degrees.

The commencement speaker was David Wilson, president of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Wilson’s address centered on the transformative, transferrable power of education for graduates and for people in their spheres of influence.

Using his own story of his experience as a first-generation college student from a sharecropping farm in rural Marengo County, Wilson, who now holds four degrees from Tuskegee and Harvard universities, stressed graduates’ responsibility to transfer the “magic of education” to others.

“Just as (education) has changed your life,” Wilson said to graduates, “it has empowered you to become a change agent in the lives of others and the world. You are now prepared to transform your community, your city, your state, your country and your world. You are prepared, by your own words and deeds, to become a model touched by the magic of education, a model of excellence to your family in your profession, in your leadership in the community and in your personal example.”

Wilson received an honorary doctorate of humane letters during the ceremony in recognition of his devotion and service to higher education, of his commitment to “raising awareness of the beauty, challenges and potential of the Black Belt region of Alabama” and of the “vision and leadership skills he has applied not only to earning his own degrees but to showing others a path to education and a life of meaningful service.”

Rosalie Hall Hunt, missionary, historian and author, received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in recognition of her “distinct virtues of heart, mind and conduct that are practically applied to daily living and demonstrated in a spirit of love for and helpfulness to other(s).”

Hunt’s faithful friendship to Judson College also was celebrated. Her ground-breaking biographies “Bless God and Take Courage: The Judson History and Legacy” and “The Extraordinary Story of Ann Hasseltine Judson: A Life Beyond Boundaries” revived and preserved the story of Ann Judson, the woman for whom Judson College is named.

Other award recipients include:

Laura Schrock Crawford, assistant professor of English: Lula and Alton Holley Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching, an annual faculty award determined by vote of graduating seniors.

Courtney Tillman, Flat Rock: Algernon Sydney Sullivan Student Award in recognition for her “nobility of character as expressed through spiritual qualities in daily living.”

Supporter of Judson

Lillie Hobson, Kinsey: J.C. Faulkner Award given to honor an “outstanding student and … enthusiastic supporter of Judson College.”

Lauren Hurt, Huntsville: Bible Award, an annual award presented to the senior exhibiting the most “outstanding Christian spirit” and rendering “Christian service to her college” during her tenure as a Judson student.

Sara Jean Lane, Conyers, Georgia: Scholarship Award, an annual award presented to a senior with an excellent academic record at Judson.

In special memory of the late David E. Potts, former Judson president and chancellor, a chair draped with his robe and medallion occupied a place on the stage during the ceremony. (Judson)