MEMPHIS — On May 14, hundreds of graduates, faculty, staff, and guests gathered on Signaigo Field under sunny skies to participate in the 2016 Commencement ceremony at Christian Brothers University. Throughout the two-hour ceremony, 381 of this year’s 456 graduates received diplomas for their completion of undergraduate, graduate, and certifications. Of the 381 graduates who participated, 47 received awards in their various schools and societies.
Dr. John Smarrelli, President of CBU, took the opportunity to thank the students who have given so much of themselves to the CBU community, “You have made a difference in the lives of each other, the faculty, and even the President, so thank you.”
CBU conferred the honoris causa (honorary doctorate) on Dr. Jan Young, who was recognized for her long career as a public servant in both military and civilian service and contributions to the Memphis community through the Assisi Foundation of Memphis. Over the course of her career, Dr. Young served in a variety of positions throughout her military career, including: Military Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Health Promotions Manager, Chief Nurse, Chief of Staff for Joint Forces Headquarters of the Tennessee Air National Guard, and the Air National Guard Assistant to the Surgeon General. Dr. Young left military service in 2012 with the rank of Major General, and earned “The Legion of Merit” distinction during her time in the military. She also oversaw, founded, and financially sported programs to benefit citizens of the Mid-South in the areas of health care, education, literacy, social justice, and the arts. Dr. Young challenged graduates to embrace the calling of a Lasallian life and seek to make a difference in whatever capacity they can.
We all have the capacity to teach—in the way that we perform our actions, or the actions we choose not to take….I look forward to sharing this journey with you as I watch how you as graduates will change your communities, your nations of birth, your global community, and perhaps, from some of you, other galaxies.
Later in the program, Lasallian Fellow and outgoing Student Government Association President Kierra Turner addressed the crowd with a message of hope and purpose for the road ahead. While many within CBU’s community actively serves on campus and in the greater Memphis community throughout the year, Turner believes that the root of it all lies in a fervent compassion for others.
Compassion drives many of us to serve in our different capacities on campus. Compassion compelled St. John Baptist de La Salle to give everything for the education of others. Compassion convinced the de La Salle Christian Brothers to establish this university for students to enter to learn and leave to serve.
At the conclusion of her address, Turner also invited graduates to recite the Lasallian Graduation Pledge, which serves as a reminder of the commitment to a life of service:
I pledge to explore and take into account the social justice and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organization for which I work. I will further the Lasallian tradition by continuing to learn and by serving others to build better communities and a better society.
Visit the 2016 Commencement photo gallery HERE.
Below is a list of awardees who were honored at Commencement and at a Presidential Recognition Ceremony on May 13:
School of Arts
Amy Rohling | Outstanding History Student
Abigail Stovall | Literature & Languages Award for English for Corporate Communications
Tachele Anderson | Literature & Languages Award for English
Jessica Love | Literature & Languages Award for Creative Writing
Lauren Dahlke | Margarette J. Sather Outstanding Graduate Behavioral Sciences Faculty Award
Angelica Schutz | Kenneth W. Mathis Award for Outstanding Education Graduate
Caitlyn Coney | Psi Chi Outstanding Leadership Award
Morgan Granoski | Outstanding Visual Arts Student Award
School of Business
Arash Zainleain | Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key Award
Jared Gillaspie | Memphis Chapter—Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants Award
John Chadwick Parker | Moroni-Whaley Award
Julie Elizabeth McCormick | School of Business Faculty Achievement Award
Francis Nicole Sexton | School of Business Faculty Achievement Award
School of Engineering
Rebecca Wauford | T. Herbert Darnell Award & Outstanding School of Engineering Graduate Award
Noah Kelley | Brother Philip Morgan Electrical Engineering Design Award
Brian Harris | Outstanding Civil & Environmental Engineering Graduate Award
Hayden Carlson | Thomas G. Morrison Award
School of Sciences
Breeana Nikaido | Brother Dominic Dunn Award
Thomas Summers | Brother Dominic Dunn Award
Katie Robinson | Biology Faculty Award
Chelsea Casaccia | Crane Fellowship Award
Joshua Faircloth | Mathematical Sciences Faculty Award
Bryant Ford | Brother Joel Baumeyer Award
College of Adult Professional Studies
Randall Pelham | CAPS Academic Achievement Award
Kierra Turner | Thomas Lipsmeyer Award
Kathryn Lewis | Brother I. Leo Outstanding Student Leadership Award
James Ben Tansey | Alumni Academic Award
Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society
John C. Parker