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Okay you spring commencement ceremony at pouch ins industries LT Smith Stadium I'm Amy Bingham and I'm Amelia and we're your hosts for this evening ceremony and. The topper walk is about to get underway this is the second year for this new tradition here on the hill graduates faculty and members of the administration will start their walk from the top of the hill all the way here to the stadium where we are and the. Commencement ceremony will be held here the name of these ceremonies means so much to everybody participating today not only the the graduates but also the families who have been by these graduates side for for so many years it has been an exciting afternoon everybody's been buzzing around you've had. People moving out of the dorms people walking around making pictures people getting ready to get lined up and and you see they're taking off they're heading for their destination for their official commencement ceremony here at WKU just shows off the beautiful campus here at Western Kentucky University they make their way down toward the stadium the faculty members. Leading the way we have a record number of graduates this weekend 2677 graduates will be recognized it is the one hundred and eighty fifth commencement ceremony held here at WKU the last two years a little bit differently including this topper walk which is hopefully going. To become a new tradition and has been really a great sight to see over the last. A couple of years you can just see the folks lining the roadway they're getting ready for for everyone to come by this at this tradition I think is going to take off you can already tell that you know it's picked up. Some steam from last year everybody was a little unsure you know we knew the football team does the topper walk prior to home football games and this is same concept and it was so much fun. Everyone really enjoyed it last year and I think you. Can tell by the crowd that's forming out in front of the downing Student Union that a lot of families are excited to be here and see this part of the ceremony and this is a kickoff for a big graduation couple of days including tomorrow when the five academic colleges will host special recognition ceremonies right. Next door at diddle arena beginning at 8:00 in the morning going all. The way to six and the evening so a busy day and a busy weekend here on the campus of WKU that's right tomorrow these families will be right back here watching their graduate get that individual recognition where they will actually shake hands with president timki bony and receive their diploma tonight will be. More of a group effort here at the Smith stadium where all the graduates will be recognized as a whole so again we have 2677 up for conferral of their various degrees graduates making their way in they'll be greeted in the stadium by their family and friends and field is prepared with the stage set up right. At the 50-yard line and. A beautiful sight again here at LT Smith Stadium and just outside and after the ceremony this evening they'll walk across the street here to the South Lawn. For the big red bash that was. Also a new component that was added last. Year culminating in fireworks at the end of the evening I think each of the various colleges will have. Tents set up and so families will be encouraged to come over. There and meet their their students favorite professor and you know just have some. Some one-on-one time good grief after four years some in some cases five years it's it's time to celebrate all these graduates being honored today but really some some standout graduates as well that will be recognized over the course of the next couple of days including Kyla's Scanlon the Ogden Foundation scholar tripling triple majoring financial management economics business. Data analytics launch droned finance blog managed to $500,000 portfolios part of that TVA investment challenge and conducting an award-winning research the hog date Ogden foundation scholar. Kyla's Scanlon these are some impressive students also we have Rachel Kaiser of Covington receiving the John D Minton award that's the top graduate student and then also. Tonight Sam Bush is here we'll hear from hear him here in a little bit he is receiving. An honorary Doctorate he was. Born and raised right here. In Bowling Green and he's gone on to be known as the father of new grass music and so many accolades and we talked to him this afternoon for a piece coming up and he said to be dr. Sam Busch ranks very high on the list of accolades he's received in his really illustrious musical career one of the big names. In music one of the big names in Kentucky Sam Busch and we're so glad to have him here celebrating part of WKU's commencement ceremonies here today and tomorrow absolutely among the other graduates tonight 23 students from the College of Education and behavioral sciences their. Outstanding students that were chosen. To student teach in international placements over this semester and the Quebec College has a total of 148 graduating seniors who will earn their teaching certificate this semester so lots of wonderful WKU graduates heading out to the teaching field and leading our future generations see the bright colors. On your screen as the graduates make their way in see all kinds of colors there. And you'll a little bit later on you'll be able to see some of the mortarboard artwork which is always fun to see unique designs the students have come up with their creativity on display as. They fit to do to the hill all their hard work goes to good use because they can wear them tonight wearing tomorrow I see some sensible shoes in the in the videos you know they they are having to walk a bit so tennis shoes go well with the with the cap. And gown in this situation and five WKU students this year awarded Boren scholarships up to $20,000 to fund up to a year critical language. Focus study abroad including Brian Anderson Alex Ben Isaiah Austin Barnes Ashley Cleary and Olivia James so congratulations at the WKU's 5 Award winners of the Boren scholarship you know we mentioned the student teachers the 23 of them that studied abroad we can tell you that more than 500 study abroad and international students are in. This graduating class tonight so 500 in the spring class of 2019 that includes a hundred and twenty international students from 24 countries so if you see them wearing their white stoles. That that contains their home country's flag and they had an international graduate reception this past Thursday at the Mahurin Honors College it's one of the great sights that the. The indoor graduation ceremonies when you see all the flags from the different countries represented and having those students carry them in in the procession and the adenylyl rina portion of the commencement exercises and it's always fun to see. That representation truly a lot of a lot of diversity and an international culture here at WKU enhancing the experience not only for those students but everyone here on campus absolutely and if. You just noticed that we've had our first faculty arrive on to the field at Smith Stadium and just as last year they will form a makeup formation for the graduates to come through and all the colleges are grouped together as we said earlier which makes it even. More special these graduates have many of them gotten to know each other have studied together along the. Way and so it's fun to have. Them come in with their actual colleges students begin to make their way. Into the stadium here waving their red towels and weather conditions a little more comfortable this year than last year for their walk down the hill last year was rather toasty but this year temperatures in the low 70s and cloudy skies kind of an overcast day but no rain the rain has held. Off and so. Wonderful for these students to be able to these graduates to be able to kind of be comfortable as they as they make their way in. To be honored here it's actually turned out to be pretty perfect weather you know last year we were scrambling to try to get some water for people it was it was really hot like you said and as long as this rain stays away I think this is an event that is going to go on rain or. Shine as we move forward it's just going to really be entrenched as a. Tradition here on the hill we'd like to congratulate the six WKU students who have been recognized this year is in the fulbright competition the Fulbright us transfer 2019-20 packet in the gear at 2100 graduating seniors and recent graduates across the country including six here from. WKU including Nicole Childress Kitely dungeon Amelia Cole that Devon Richardson Koren Warlick and Max McGehee - congratulations to those students winners of Fulbright and scholarships you see. That the graduates are realizing that. They're on the scoreboard the jumbotron is showing what you're all you all are seeing on our live feed so very exciting as they enter into Smith stadium walk across the field and they'll make their way up to their seats in the stadium we have 47 WKU student. Athletes graduating this weekend with a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 one so hopefully most of them are involved in tonight's activities and then will be recognized again tomorrow in the various recognition ceremonies that are planned throughout the day. So many great moments on the field and the court everywhere where WKU athletics took part in games and competition this year and congratulations to all the individual and team accomplishments for WKU athletics and of course great to see so many WKU student athletes and graduating today a new look next year for the big red marching band. They will have new uniforms they just had so many band members and so many people joining the band grew by a hundred fifteen percent and so they ran out of uniform so they. Were able to collect the money to purchase new uniforms for the big red marching band and they'll be sporting those beginning in the fall now they'd have nearly three hundred members of. That band so looking forward to seeing those on display next year it's the largest marching band in the state of Kentucky and has been I think for a couple of years now and they actually had to start marching in sweatpants because they didn't have enough uniforms so no more sweatpants for the BRM be they're gonna be styling. This this fall as you. Said probably starting with this this summer they'll be here for band camp and get those get those looked at students continue to make their way in here the graduates making their. Way down the hill the topper walk and into the football stadium here where they'll be honored with the ceremony beginning here in a little while so many families as we've said are. Really involved in cheering them on from the sidelines so I'm sure they'll be scooting into the into the Smith stadium here to get their seats and listen as we hear from president Kabbani will speak tonight along with Sam Bush has a few words. To say and each College will be recognized as a whole another exciting thing coming to WKU is the WKU Commons that's going to be helm library it's going to morph into the WKU. Commons over the next year and a half or so so be some changes on on that end of the hill thirty-five million dollar. Project is going to transform the library into. A place where students faculty and staff can eat meet study and collaborate it's a pretty elaborate to artwork I did it congratulations and nice job with the. With the mortarboard there student says Amy mentioned earlier noticing themselves on the video board here at the football stadium congratulations to the talisman WKU student-run live culture and news magazine and website has been awarded a gold crown. From the Columbia scholastic Press Association it's based in New York City was first. A yearbook back in 1924 but a couple years ago moved into the 21st century with as a magazine and a really slick looking publication and it has been well awarded well recognized and well. Done by the students here at WKU another thing that's happening in tonight's ceremony is eleven ROTC cadets will be commissioned at this ceremony the students you see outside of downing Student. Union which is across the street here from Hutchins industries LT Smith stadium making their way through the gauntlet of professors here. Faculty members of Western Kentucky University that's a lot of mortar board work in that. One shot right there that's part of the fun. Is doing that and there's been so many photo shoots across campus over the last few months really but definitely the last several. Days and this afternoon there were graduates walking around with photographers and families and just really exciting atmosphere on. The hill and one of the the. Cool things that they're able to do now is they're able to put the hash tag on it and. It showed up a lot of them on the video board as we were getting ready to begin and so. Folks who were sitting in the stands waiting for the the students to. Come in were able to look up on the video board and see a lot of those photos that you just mentioned by using the hashtag that's right hashtag WKU. Grad I'm sure will want those to be hashtag throughout the weekends that we can share them in as many formats as possible three representatives from WKU have recently returned from the unesco euro ma-ma be 2019 meeting in dublin ireland WKU's representatives made up. One third of the nine-member US delegation at this international gathering those females are Liane Bledsoe Lillian Hamm and Emma Poole Congrats to them so congratulations WKU films senior Tori Mills the come up for. Air team winning the Women in Film Award at the Milledgeville Eatonton Film Festival the thesis film was produced last year's film for 82 plants and was also nominated for Best student. Film at the festival in Georgia congratulations to Torii Mills a film major in the School of Journalism in broadcasting and also recipient of a college student production award for short film fiction there's a shot of our international flags we talked about we still have lots of students coming in trying to find their seats and with a. Class of over 2600 it takes a little bit to walk down the street and get situated during the ceremony which will begin here in a few minutes we'll hear from of course president Timothy boney here a national anthem from Brittany Bagwell graduating vocal performance graduating senior here from mr. Steven Mayer student region along. With the Provost Cheryl. Stevens and of course Sam Bush we'll make some comments after he receives his honorary Doctorate and he says they're unprepared what he's gonna say but I'm sure it'll come from the heart whatever it is there you see members of President President components Board of Regents members of the platform guests or the. Platform party and they'll be coming in to take their seats as well and just a. Couple of days ago there was ceremony in Elizabethtown as WKU honored the spring graduating class of 2019. Some 37 students attended the ceremony back on May the 1st at Hardin County Schools. Performing Arts Center in Elizabethtown there were some 149 WKU graduates eligible to participate so congratulations to all the graduates Elizabethtown Fort Knox for their hard work and dedication to getting their college degrees wow that's beautiful yeah more elaborate each year I think so you see a few. Plain ones here and there but a lot of them are really decorated there's Shrek even on one of the boards again tonight this isn't the end of the. Celebration this ceremony they will be going across the street to the big red bash on the WKU South Lawn or there'll be lots of festivities going on at. Each individual tent will culminate in fireworks two in the evening starts back again here at 8 o'clock in the morning with all the recognition ceremonies that will take place throughout the day all the way until the last one tomorrow night at 6 p.m. WKU student skyler ballard won the 3rd multimedia competition of the 2018-2019. Hearst journalism awards program qualified from the National multimedia championship in San Francisco she's. Senior from Cox Creek won the multi media enterprise reporting competition for a piece titled in huerto and Vita published at WKU PJ comm so you can check that out at that website some of the fine work done by the school of journalism and broadcasting here. If you have some graduates and you're wondering when they'll be recognized tomorrow the Gordon floored College of Business kicks things off. In the morning at 8 a.m. followed by the Potter College of Arts and Letters at 10:30 a.m. at 1 o'clock the Ogden College of Science and Engineering at 3:30 the College of Education and behavioral sciences and finally. At 6 o'clock tomorrow night the College of Health and. Human Services so a full day for a lot of people that will be either here all day or. In and out for the various ceremonies dr.. Julia link Roberts and dr. Tracy for denman of the Center for gifted studies here at WKU as well as dr. jennifer Robinson. Baylor University awarded the 2018 Texas Association for the gifted and talented legacy book award in the scholar category they worked to edit the textbook introduction to gifted education so congratulations to dr. Roberts and Inman for their honor here this academic year 20:19 also marks the 30th. Anniversary of this very television station WKU PBS so congratulations for 30 years of. Outstanding program to a WKU PBS students took part in a logo contest to come up with a 30th anniversary logo for WKU PBS and the first-place winner for the design of that logo was Regan Fisher a junior from Louisville awarded a $750 scholarship so congratulations to Regan second place Molly Norton a junior from Louisville and third place finalist. Elizabeth Bates junior from Tennessee - congratulations to those winners of and. First second and third place in the 30th anniversary logo competition this wonderful PBS. Crew that we're working with today they had several graduating seniors we want to give a shout out to Hannah will cut Chelsey. Found Logan fry Jordan crab Elijah Smith Dylan Olson and Rachel Dodd so I know they will be sorely missed and we know that they are the best of the best that helped out on this crew each and every year and worked so hard to do such a wonderful job just to break down the 22,000 677 graduates we. Have tonight that turns out to be about 72 associate degrees 1842. Bachelor's degrees 494 master's degrees 52 doctoral degrees 7 specialist degrees 142 undergrad certificates and 63 graduate certificates that's for a grand total of two thousand six hundred and seventy-seven graduates a record number by the way of graduates at WKU and they are all making their way in from the top her walk into LT. Smith Stadium here where everything set up for tonight's ceremony parents families a lot of folks in attendance here this evening looking forward to this recognition ceremony a very comfortable evening as the graduates continue to file in here Western Kentucky University will partner with Somerset Community College to offer. A new teaching program in the Somerset area through the University Center of southern Kentucky a consortium of post-secondary educational institution to bring higher education to the area WKU will. Offer a hybrid middle grades math and science teacher education program and it will be known as sky teach you mentioned the students the WKU PBS students who are graduating you mentioned those just a few moments ago. Amy and if they were students who were probably running the cameras and doing a lot of. The operation for ceremonies like this in the last couple of years and the students who are bringing. You these images this year in a couple years they will. Be the ones walking do this doing this topper walk into the stadium so glad to see all these students doing such wonderful work bringing you these images if you can't be here at this evening that's. Right a well-earned honor to pit out from behind the camera and get in front of it for a change you know WKU civil engineering students have had a very successful year they. Do a fantastic job with the concrete canoe competition each and every year this year taking home the regional championship and headed to Florida in just a couple of weeks to compete nationally it's kind of like forensics you know WKU is known for their civil engineering known for forensics known for so many. Things driving by the concrete canoe truck the other day the trailer that they pulled those in and it says the name of their. Team on the side and in the back it says yes it floats I think the name is stalactite yeah is that right the heavier play on words with both toppers and caves and they have a whole bunch of plays on that name we've not only got the graduates filling the. Stands but now we've got lots of families filling the stands as. Everybody gets in from off the side of the street and see the graduates enjoying this evening and getting set to celebrate with family and friends over the next. Couple of days at the party next door after this ceremony concludes and then of course the commencement exercises recognition ceremonies throughout the day tomorrow right next door at diddle arena everybody has their big red towel the red towel ceremonial logo and a big part of the culture. Here at WKU now it's time for many of them to just take that next step whether it's starting a new job moving continuing their education so many new chapters starting after this. Weekend it's exciting but also scary time in the big red Bash immediately following this commencement ceremony right next door on South Lawn they've got some live music over there some food trucks celebration tents for each college and they're gonna have fireworks later on. Tonight so a big party and certainly these graduates deserving of being celebrated there's the celebration not only here in Bowling Green at the main WKU campus but also Owensboro in Elizabethtown Fort Knox you mentioned the town ceremony and I. Believe boscoe's had their graduation ceremony already so hopefully those graduates have come tonight to take part in the topper walk it's open to all of the graduates it's like everybody has made their way in from the top or walk but they're still filing into their seats before we get the ceremony. Started here they are sitting. On the lower level of one side of the stadium and then a lot of friends and family members filling up the second level and great turnout here this evening to honor these graduates want to mention the WKU public radio staff members and the WKU school of journalism and broadcasting students have been. Honored recently at the annual Kentucky Associated Press broadcasters competition the Kentucky AP award sponsored by the Kentucky Broadcasters Association recognized the best in college and professional broadcast journalism in 2018 you'll always do such a great job Kevin Willis your news director of WKU. Public Radio says he's so proud of. The showing they had at the Kentucky ap broadcasters Awards yeah three first place awards - Talisa Autry and Beca. Chimel and Rhonda Miller three of our fine reporters and the WKU Public Radio News staff so congratulations to them second place overall for overall excellence for the. Station and the new staff so they continue to do fine work bringing the news not only here to Bowling Green but also across the listening area of WKU Public Radio which extends up into - Henderson and Owensboro and out to Somerset and have been to Elizabethtown covering about two-thirds of the state. Of Kentucky as congratulations to the new staff of WKU Public Radio they do a fantastic job there you see more faculty that are they're bringing up the rear as they were the ones that created the tunnel for their students to walk through so they'll be. Taking their seats at the at the very end and then the podium guests will make their way up on the stage like to say congratulations to Devin Richardson of Bowling Green selected as a 2019 Charles Rangel International Affairs graduate fellow one of just 30 fellows elected nationwide and he is the very. First from WKU to earn this honor and it prepares outstanding students for careers in the u.s. Department of State Foreign Service so big future. Ahead of him for Devin Richardson who began interested. In u.s. foreign service after. Studying in Osaka Japan so impressive not a smiling faces and waving flags and towels here this evening thanks for joining us here at captains industries LT Smith stadium for this evening ceremonies is we're just about set to get begin here in a few moments as graduates continue to chat amongst themselves as everyone gets seated here. Tonight for the ceremony so thankful the. Rain has held off and the cooler temperatures have been perfect thank you mom that's appropriate for Mother's Day weekend I think that's very appropriate that the Mother's Day weekends the same as commencement weekend mothers are. So integral and parents so integral in that and helping these graduates. Not only to get through their primary and high school but also enroll in college make it through college and for this important exciting day here at Western Kentucky University ladies and gentlemen please rise in honor the presentation of flags representing the home country for each of our. Graduates along with the cadets being commissioned this evening as second lieutenants in the United States Army good evening I'm Tim Cavani president of Western Kentucky University and I'm honored to welcome you to WKU's 180 fifth commencement ceremony in celebration of our 2019 graduating class the largest in the history of our institution. Many of you will recall your first week as Hilltoppers when you assembled as a class during master plan convocation and. We're excited to bring you together one. Final time to celebrate your successful completion to begin this evening celebration please continue standing for the singing of our national anthem by graduating senior Brittany Bagwell a vocal performance major from Franklin Kentucky fight or the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming oh say does that star-spangled Oh thank you and. You may be seated commencement is a celebration of success and also a time to express appreciation to those who provided support and encouragement to you along the way among those are the leadership of Western Kentucky University first. Are the members of the governing board of WKU the Board of Regents please hold your applause until each has been introduced dr. Philip baile chair Glasgow Kentucky mr. Gillie Johnson vice chair Nicholasville. Kentucky mr. Fredrick Higdon secretary Lebanon Kentucky miss Linda ball Lexington Kentucky mr. David Brinkley staff region. Bowling Green Kentucky professor Klaus Ernst faculty region Bowling Green Kentucky Miss Julie Harris Hinson prospect Kentucky mr. Steven Mayer student region Louisville Kentucky mr. Jason McKinney alva ten Kentucky and mr. Jay David Porter Lexington Kentucky we're honored to be joined by four members of. The Kentucky General Assembly who represent WKU in our state capitol please welcome state senator Mike Wilson from bone green and state representatives Wilson stone from Scottsville and patty Minter and Steve Sheldon from Bowling Green also seated on the platform are the president's cabinet and College Dean's and seated with today's graduates are members of the. WKU faculty who have provided outstanding instruction and guidance to you over the course of your studies with the platform party and university faculty members please stand and be recognized bearing the mace of Western Kentucky University who was our chief marshal professor Cecile garment the honor of carrying the mace is given to the faculty member in. Attendance who has served the longest tenured professor Garman has taught at WKU for 39 years and we are grateful for her service Thank You professor garment graduates seated throughout the stadium are your parents grandparents. And siblings your spouses and children your family and your friends these are the individuals who have supported you the most. And they take great pride in celebrating your success today graduates will you please stand and show them your. Appreciation also celebrating with you this weekend are your fellow students please welcome Student Government Association president Steven Mayer for remarks on behalf of the WKU student body. Class of 2019 congratulations you did it on March 21st 1906 the Kentucky General Assembly approved legislation to establish two. Teacher training institutions or normal schools in the state the owner of the Southern Normal School Henry Hardin cherry had been actively involved in the campaign to establish teacher training schools and became WKU's first president. His diligence led to the start of classes on January 22nd 1907 Western Kentucky State Normal School. Continued operations and its local for four years on February 4th 1911 the school moved to the present site that we know today the hill I tell this story because I do not believe. That Henry Hart and cherry could have ever imagined this day all of you are very much roots of his vision and we have a shared legacy each. Of you are living proof that the American Dream is alive each of you took different paths to get to the seat that you're in right now some of you traditional college students some non-traditional each of you have had. Your hardships through your educational career and we're here today to celebrate each of your accomplishments that will help steer and guide the rest of. Your lives I don't have long to speak so I decided to leave you all with some advice take control of your life by taking control of your attitudes remember pain and disappointment are inevitable but tough times our temporary persist with confidence that no negative emotion can withstand your will to be happy listen to both your heart and your head. Pursue your passions but don't confuse feelings with facts fun with happiness or pleasure with fulfillment live within your means don't sacrifice about a thousand Tamara's for a few days be especially careful of choices that can jeopardize your health reputation or important hardships safeguard your integrity because you never know when you're gonna need it finally don't. Settle for a little life fill it with purpose and meaning and people worthy of your love and respect today May 10 2004 you go or whom you will become you. Will always represent your alma mater WKU on behalf of the student population and the Student Government Association congratulations and. Go tops I now ask dr. Cheryl Stevens provost and vice president for academic affairs to. Come forward to recognize our honor graduates and announce. The John D Minton Ogden foundations Scholar Award winners Provost Stevens good evening WKU Awards three honors designations two students receiving baccalaureate degrees laude magna laude and summa laude and two recognitions for students receiving associate degrees with distinction and with high distinguished distinction all of these outstanding graduates have. Earned a grade point average of 3.4 or above with the appropriate number of credit hours earned at WKU and today they proudly wear red and white honor courts as a symbol of their academic achievement will all honors graduates please stand and. Be recognized and congratulated thank you you may be seated named in honor of a former WKU president the John. Damien award recognizes a graduate student for outstanding contributions to his or her academic discipline both within and the university and beyond representing the Minton family this evening is Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court John Dee. Minton jr. this year's John Dee Minton award goes to Geoscience graduate student Rachael Kaiser Rachael has an outstanding academic record with local. National and international research experiences she. Has received multiple grants. Awards and fellowships for her work improving water quality throughout the world Rachael partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture along with other. Organizations to conduct studies on groundwater in urban settings to enhance public safety community. Understanding and drive policy Rachael serves as a leading female in science technology engineering and mathematics and plans to pursue her PhD after leaving WKU it's an honor to present to you this evening the winner of the John D Minton award Miss Rachael Kaiser the Ogden Foundation scholar award. Is presented to one graduating senior who has demonstrated exceptional academic achievement in addition to outstanding university and civic and JE engagement name for Ogden College one of the institution's from which Western Kentucky University evolved the Ogden foundations scholar award will be presented this evening. By mr. Darryl great injure a member of the Ogden Foundation. Board of Trustees the winner will receive a plaque and $1,000 a minute monetary award provided by the Ogden. Foundation this year's Ogden Foundation scholar award goes to miss Kyla Scanlon Kyla has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in economics finance and business data analytics Kyla's impressive research includes investigating the effects of terrorists attacks on the US stock market she was awarded a fused grant to extend. Her work to include the impact of terrorism on consumer sentiment the project was selected to be presented at a Tara data analytics universe a top research conference in. The world she. Runs a blog contributes to a financial news website hosts of financial podcasts conducts bi-weekly equity research and publishes articles with over 70,000. Followers in an investment class that manages a $500,000 portfolio of real money she led a group of students to the highest return in the history of the class please join me in congratulating the recipient of the 2019 Ogden foundation Scholar Award WKU's highest graduation I'll honor miss Kyla Scanlon sorry at. Tomorrow's college recognition ceremonies where graduates will be individually recognized we will recognize the recipients of the outstanding graduate student awards. And the scholar of the college Awards congratulations to all of our honor graduates and their families Thank You Provost Stevenson congratulations to these outstanding Award winners and to all honors. Graduates among our great traditions at WKU is this portion in the ceremony when we celebrate the commitment of graduating Hilltoppers to making a good life through. Service in our nation's military we're honored this evening to Commission ten new graduates who are beginning their. Careers as second lieutenants in the US Army at this time I invite Lieutenant Colonel Thomas McMillan professor of military science to come forward to administer the oath of office to these new officers please hold your applause until all have taken the oath commissioned today our cadet trey Cardwell from Bowling Green Kentucky cadet Cardwell has been assigned to Fort. Sill Oklahoma cadet Charles Carr while from Elizabethtown Kentucky cadet carlisle has been assigned to Fort Jackson South Carolina cadet Nicholas Cooper from Mount Washington Kentucky cadet Cooper has been assigned. To Fort Sam Houston Texas cadet Nathan Harrison from Richmond Kentucky cadet Harrison has been assigned to. Fort Sam Houston Texas. Cadet William Kaiser from Walton Beach Florida cadet Kaiser has been assigned to. Fort Benning Georgia cadet William Matt early from Elizabethtown Kentucky cadet Mathur Lee has been assigned to Fort still Oklahoma cadet Kimberly mertens from st. Augustine Florida cadet mertens has been assigned to cadet Patrick Smith from. Chicago Illinois cadet Smith has been assigned to Fort Leonard Wood Missouri cadet Alexander tomatillo from Bayonne New Jersey cadets tomatillo has been assigned to Fort Benning Georgia cadets Tucker stant Liffe from Boise Idaho cadet Stan LIF has been assigned to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary raise. Your right hands and repeat after me I state your name having been appointed an officer in the army of the United States in the grade of second lieutenant do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of. The United States against all enemies foreign and domestic that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. And that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I'm about to enter so help me God congratulations to our nation's newest military officers and thanks to each of you for your service. Other members of today's graduating class who either currently serve or have served in our nation's military are wearing red white and blue honor cords with all graduates and those of you joining us in the audience today who are currently serving or our military veterans please stand so we can recognize and thank you for your. Service to our country thank you WKU Awards honorary degrees to individuals who've made exemplary contributions to the university the state the nation or the world recipients of honorary degrees are recognized for their extraordinary achievements which reflect the ideals and vision of the University it is a distinct honor to pay tribute to a very deserving individual today mr. Sam Bush. Is an American bluegrass fiddler and mandolin player from Bowling Green Kentucky. His skill was recognized at an. Early age as a child he participated in adult picking sessions at Dyess barber shop on old Morgantown Road while in his teens he was. A three-time winner of the junior division of the national old-time Fiddler's contest in weiser idaho. Where officials initially refused to hang his portrait photo on the winners wall reputedly because of the length of his hair and his sporty Hilltoppers t-shirt country music singer and fiddler Roy Acuff assisted in the launch of the young musicians career his new grass sound is. An energetic mixture of bluegrass music rock and soul and jazz Bush has been nominated for 13 Grammys winning 3 including album. Of the year for his participation in oh brother where art thou he's been named mandolin player of the year four times by the International Bluegrass Music Association and in 2009 the American Music Association presented Bush with the Lifetime Achievement for interim instrumentalists. Award his 2016 album story man features the song Bowling Green co-written with John Randall Stewart which describes growing up on a Warren County tobacco farm Sam Bush is a revered member of the bluegrass. Community who never forgot his Kentucky roots and his music is meaningful to all those with Kentucky connections because the mem memories it invokes Sam and Board of Regents chair Phillip Bale will you please join me at the podium as president I am honored to present Sam Busch with an honorary degree of doctorate. Of Fine Arts from Western Kentucky University and that he'd be entitled to all the rights and privileges pertaining to that degree thank you I well first of all congratulations to the graduates of the. 2019 class congratulations to you you've worked hard thank you to the Board of Regents thank you to Western Kentucky University for. This great honor it's it's a long way. From cattle and tobacco. Farm five miles outside town and Morgantown road highway 231 and I never thought I'd get to stand on this football field again and the reason I say that is the only time I got to I was a senior in high school in 1970 the Kentucky marching band competition and we were doing great I was in Warren Central High School. Marching Band drummer and we were doing well it was right over there where I missed time to my turn by 10 steps when you turn around and you're 20 yards away from the rest of the band well you catch up but I just want to say thank you what an honor I never thought this could happen. So everybody's smile I'm taking a life snapshot thank you congratulations dr. Busch graduates for the past four years you've worked hard. To earn your degree and you've been looking forward to this moment tomorrow I'm looking forward to shaking each of your hands as you walk through the line at your college recognition ceremony but this evening is the time when the degree you have earned becomes official the authority to confer degrees rests with. The WKU Board of Regents at this time each Dean. Will come forward to present the degree candidates that means all of you by college please rise as your colleges recognized first from the Podrick College of Arts and Letters please welcome Dean Larry Snyder from powder college graduates go on to become FBI agents politicians. Lawyers published authors journalists artists musicians and much more earning degrees in areas such as anthropology communication and criminology these students have been involved in numerous hand-on experiences during their studies performing archaeological surveys mentoring through a specialized juvenile diversion program and creating garden plots for African refugees to help them assimilate to a new environment Dean Snyder well I. Would ask you to rise but you already have president Caponi today's degree candidates have completed the masters bachelor's and associates degree programs as prescribed by the University on behalf the Faculty of Potter. College of Arts and Letters of Western Kentucky University it is my privilege and great pride to recommend that the appropriate degrees be conferred upon these candidates Thank You Dean Snyder. I am pleased to accept your recommendation congratulations to our graduates in Potter College you make more cowbell from the Gordon Ford College of. Business please welcome Dean Kathy carry the Gordon Ford College of. Business is internationally recognized for excellence in business and accounting programs that prepare students for long term career success it's unique kaanum combination of classroom learning matched with real-world exposures through a project with clients from the business community guest. Speakers internships study abroad programs and more make this College truly distinctive Dean carrier with all degree candidates from the Gordon Ford College of Business please rise president Caponi today's degree candidates have completed the masters and bachelors degree programs as prescribed by the University on behalf of the Faculty of the Gordon Ford College. Of Business of Western Kentucky University it is my privilege to recommend. The appropriate degrees be conferred upon these candidates Thank You Dean Kerry I heartily accept your recommendation congratulations to our College of Business graduates and now from the College of Health and Human Services please welcome Dean Denis George in HHS students learn how to best evaluate and treat patients. Manage and administer health and community based facilities and programs designed functional and aesthetically pleasing interior spaces support child and family well-being and much much more. Dean George but all degree candidates from the College of Health and Human Services please rise president Cavani today's degree candidates have completed the doctoral masters bachelor's and associates degree programs as prescribed by the. University on behalf of the Faculty of the College of Health and Human Services of Western Kentucky University it is my privilege to recommend that the appropriate degrees be conferred upon these candidates Thank You Dean George it's. My privilege to accept your recommendation congratulations to our Health and Human Service graduates from the Ogden College of Science and Engineering please welcome Dean Greg Arbuckle in Ogden college our Hilltoppers go deep into math science and engineering preparing to be our doctors clinical psychologists. Engineers and more of course is as diverse as astronomy to biopsychology Ogden also offers one of the most fundamental applied science experiences in the Commonwealth Dean Arbuckle with all degree candidates from the Ogden College. Of Science and Engineering please rise president Caponi today's three. Candidates have completed the masters bachelor's and associate degree programs as prescribed by the University on behalf of the Faculty of the. Ogden college of science and engineering of Western Kentucky University it is my privilege to recommend. That the appropriate degrees be conferred upon these candidates Thank You Dean Arbuckle it is with great pride that I accept your recommendation congratulations. To our Ogden sub college of science and engineering graduates from the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Sciences please welcome Dean Corinne Murphy the College of Education the College of Education and behavioral sciences represents the foundation of WKU dating back to. The Western Kentucky State Normal School in 1906 today the college graduates a diverse group of community change agents and over 30 percent of its college conferral are graduate and doctoral degrees Dean Murphy would all degree candidates from the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences please rise president Capponi. Today's degree candidates have completed the doctoral masters bachelor's and associates degree. Programs as prescribed by the University on behalf of the Faculty of the College of Education. And behavioral sciences of Western Kentucky University. It is my privilege to recommend that the appropriate degrees be conferred upon these candidates Dean Murphy it's my honor. To accept your. Recommendation congratulations to our College of Education behavioral science graduates now we'll all degree candidates graduates that means you the faculty and the platform party please stand I now invite the chair of the WKU Board of Regents dr. Philip Bale to come forward for the official conferral of degrees what a great evening for. Graduation thank everyone for being here now is the moment of truth just as today's ceremonies represent a milestone in each of your lives this occasion is both happy and memorable for all of the Regents who stand with me before you on this stage the responsibility of conferring degrees is the. Highest honor and privilege for the Board of Regents of Western. Kentucky University graduates I hereby confer upon each of you the appropriate degree which you have earned through your program of study as recommended by the college Dean's and certified by the president. Of the University on behalf of Western Kentucky University Board of Regents congratulations congratulations graduates you may be seated. Our first president Henry Hardin cherry envisioned that WKU would be a University of social mobility and of access and opportunity taking that first step is often the most challenging if you are the first in your immediate family to have. Completed a college degree will you please stand your achievement is not just about yourself it's about. Your entire family you've changed the course of their future as well as your. Own by earning a college degree congratulations graduates. You've reached a key milestone in your life and one that is likely to be among the most significant but we're not here tonight to celebrate the degrees you've attained the careers you're pursuing or. Your academic success what we are celebrating is the continuation of what I hope is a lifelong journey of learning and of discovery assuredly you've amassed significant knowledge during your time at WKU but. What is more important. Are the habits of mind you've acquired the intellectual passions you've developed and the deeper. Understanding of what it means to be. Successful in the life you have cultivated sitting here together this evening I ask that you. Pause and reflect back to the first time you climbed this hill as a member of the class of 2019 think about the journey you have taken since then and about what that experience has been most special to you your WKU. Experience is unique to you and my hope is that you've created lifelong friendships and that this hill will remain special to you no matter where life takes you your WKU experience has shaped who you are what you will do and. Where you will go and my hope is your time with us has changed you in significant and positive ways preparing you. For the challenges to come in your. Lives and your careers and while it might sound odd I do wish for. You to be challenged to face difficulty to struggle the easy path rarely produces distinction or success or satisfaction and when you're confronted with these challenges I hope you will dig deep and face them with courage cultivate your capacity to do the right thing. Even though it may be the hard thing stand tall in the face of critique stand firm in the face of pushback and stand strong in the face of criticism but also be willing to listen. To adjust to change and to improve based upon feedback and the contribution of others one of the gifts of being human is to. Hold two diametrically opposed ideas in our mind at the. Same time and while these ideas may seem like two opposites they're actually two sides of the same coin reinforcing and strengthening the whole embrace that courage as you leave this hill to do what is right for your companies you join for the. Organizations you lead and for the communities you live in even when it's the hardest thing to do we live in an age of wonder with tools available. To us that even two generations ago were science. Fiction we have super computers in our pockets machines able to answer any question we might have instantaneously able to relieve. Our boredom with endless entertainment options and to. Provide an engagement with others around the world in an instant and all of this at the tips of our fingers yet one of the. Electronic tools we possess today may help us answer questions watch movies and connect with friends sometimes we miss when an advantage becomes a disadvantage and when the helpful becomes hurtful our phones possess their own special siren song programmer built platforms constructed with. The latest understanding of neuroscience and how our brains will react each calling us pavlov style to engage to click to life into snap accelerating the pace of our discord creating misperceptions and infringing upon our essential need to pause to think to reflect now I'm no Luddite I have active. Social media accounts and I see great power and possibilities created by technology but sometimes faster is not better we need to cultivate the discipline to turn everything. Off and to unplug and when you deliberately do this you can be thoughtful you can reflect you cannot only live in the moment but. You can also enable yourself to think deeply about issues have reasoned responses and positions and could in our world use a little bit more of that finally tonight I chose to. Come back to WKU as its tenth president because I believe in what we do here our institutional motto the spirit makes the master may have different meaning to different people for me it speaks our resolve as an institution. To prepare you to make a good living and more importantly our. Commitment to prepare you to make a good life. Both for yourself and for those around you indeed we want you to leave here with the skills that are necessary to be successful. In the workplace however beyond the technical skills you'll need you must take with you an intellectual nimbleness so you can adapt so you can change so you can grow we want you to. Be just as ready for the jobs that haven't been thought of today as with a job you're about to begin you'll need the ability to reason to solve problems to communicate to speak persuasively and to. Work effectively in groups these are the skills that prepare you for a lifelong success I hope your experience here taught you to appreciate differences in culture and to recognize the value of diversity diversity of background of thought and of place the world. You were entering is one where facts and truth are challenged every day you need to be able to discern what is real and what is it we live in a world where anyone who wants a microphone has access to it whether they have expertise or not and as you enter this sometime caustic and challenging world. I hope your experience here has. Demonstrated for you that people can disagree without being hurtful that we can challenge one another without causing harm and we can still be on opposite sides of an argument and remain friends your WKU experience has instilled in you a set of core values and beliefs. That are not negotiable you know there is right and wrong good and bad acceptable and unacceptable and when it counts the most stay true to those values don't be passive in life instead speak up engage make. A difference this is what. Hilltoppers do seek to be part of something bigger than yourself through each of you the world will be changed in both small and large ways your parents your siblings your spouse or children your family and friends we your Hilltopper. Family celebrate together and we're excited for the life you were about to begin we're proud of you tonight we've reflected on your WKU experience that began the first day you climb this. Hill as you journey. Into the world I challenge you to carry with you that special WKU spirit. That has defined your time here commencement marks the end of the shortest phase of your engagement with WKU you are no longer a student but you are always a hill topper you're joining a family of more than a hundred thousand alumni across the globe come back to campus often stay engaged with us through our Alumni Association. And three relationships with your faculty your friends and those have supported you in this journey be a proud Hilltopper and carry that big red spirit with. You everywhere you go congratulations graduates and now to officially recognize you as WKU alumni please welcome mr. al Tucker president of the WKU Alumni Association now Thank. You president Kabbani in May of 1973 I said in the very same place that you're sitting now as I reflect upon that day I was confident in the education and leadership skills I received here I was also. Confident that the relationships fostered here would prepare me for the coming phase of my life however I was uncertain as. To how I was to begin that phase today I understand that through. My times of uncertainty and triumphs the relationships built here at WKU made me stronger. And wiser for now as an alumnus I get to share my experiences with fellow alumnus help students and this most special place move forward at WKU we encourage prospective students to climb with us the flat path is easy but we as hilltopers know that the. Rewards at the top of the hill are well worth the climb I congratulate you upon making the climb but the next phase of your life is just beginning will the members of the graduating. Class of 2019 please rise take a look around you in addition to your. Family and friends you are now surrounded by your alumni family you are forever a hill topper and your Alumni Association is here to help you maintain that connection keep climbing. With us to signify your accomplishments and your change in status from student to alumnus please move your tassel from the right side of your mortar board to the left placing it upon your heart congratulations may your reflections and the memories. Of your years here and this most special moment keep you climbing with WKU welcome to the WKU alumni family well done graduates before we close today we want to get one final class photo with your very special red towel so you know what to do Hilltoppers with those red towels and smile for the. Camera this is your class of 2019 photo great job now let's give a special thanks to all the staff. And volunteers who plan to produce today's commencement ceremony as well as to the WKU brass. Ensemble connected by Professor Gary Schallert and to soloist Brittany Bagwell let's also give one final round of applause to thank your family friends faculty and university staff who've supported you throughout your time at WKU at the conclusion of the ceremony the platform party and the faculty will exit the stadium then graduates please follow big red across. The street for. The big red bash family and friends exit the stadium and join us as well we have food music photos and fireworks show to end the evening and now for one final time as the. Class of 2019 please join me in standing and singing the WKU fights on for the first time as alumni and at the end I want to see you take your mortar boats the hats on your heads and up in the air okay congratulations and detox . There's nothing left in those foothills below these you can have my ears but you can't have their memories I'll see. You in my dreams we'd all been plowed a backhoe in the hottest part of June we come in for dinner then we play - dear - he loved saw the Wagner. Tennessee oh joy under there the nose for use with lots of mellow bees we had my ears but you gave had there my dreams we tune in the OP you can around that old vehicle Tommy Jackson's. Go now those days are over but you can't have their man Kano's McHugh my.

 


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