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Spring Commencement recognizes more than 1,200 degree candidates

Morehead State University honored more than 1,200 degree candidates at its two spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 13, at the Academic-Athletic Center.

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Photo: Paul Goodpaster, Joe and Kelly Craft, President Wayne AndrewsThere were smiles, cheers and lots of photographs taken as the newest alumni took the ceremonial walk across the stage, signifying the completion of their college degrees. They were greeted by MSU President Wayne D. Andrews who offered a congratulatory handshake to each of those completing graduate and undergraduate degree requirements.

The first commencement program honored students in the College of Business and Technology and the College of Science.

Jasmine Olivia Prince of Fairborn, Ohio, was the student speaker. She is the daughter of Edward and Michelle Prince. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree.

“We must realize that relying on our own strength alone is exhausting and unnecessary. What turns out to be the best strategy is relying on others and in turn, serving others. When we are serving others with the talents that we possess and allowing others to serve us where they are skilled, we accomplish more than would be possible by simply relying on our own efforts,” said Prince. “I believe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best when he said, ‘Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?’ What we have to gain through service and compassion to others, holds much more than anything we could achieve on our own.”

Prince participated in the Undergraduate Research Fellowship program for three years under Dr. Kurt Gibbs in the Department of Biology and Chemistry. The lab where she worked studies spinal cord injury and regeneration, using xenopus laevis frogs as model organisms.

She maintained a 4.0 GPA, has been on the Dean’s List every semester, and was honored as a Graduate Dean Scholar.

Prince is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and has held several leadership positions within her chapter. She was involved in Girl Scouts Workshops, Highway Cleanup and a 5K run to raise money and awareness for Prevent Child Abuse America. She has been a participant in Best Buddies, served on its leadership team, including serving as the chapter president for a year, and attended a leadership conference. She also has been a member of the leadership team for the Baptist Campus Ministries for three years, where she was involved in Morehead Gateway Helping Hands Food Bank and Outreach Center along with Christian Social Services.

Prince will attend the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in the fall to pursue an M.D.

Candidates from the College of Education and Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences participated in the afternoon ceremony.

Kristin Marie Busby of Morehead was the student speaker. She is the daughter of Robert and Suzanne Busby of Morehead.

She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art degree and is a W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Scholar for the Arts.

“This ceremony is a testament of our ability to transition from one period of life to the next, and transition well. We all adapted from our high school selves and evolved into the individuals we are today. And since past performance is indicative of future capability, we can be assured that we are able to adapt again,” she told the crowd. “This is cause for us to celebrate. We have proven to ourselves and others that we are fully capable and competent graduates. The importance of this is especially true for those of us who may not have secure plans moving forward. To anyone who may be stressed and unsure about their next step, I want to assure you that uncertainty is not failure. Each of us has the propensity to excel, and we should remind ourselves of this often. Because we have done this - obtain a university education - we now know we can do this: learn as we age. There is no reason we should stop. We have evidence. We have experience. We can adapt, and learn, and transition.”

As an Undergraduate Research Fellow in the Claypool-Young Art Gallery, Busby focused on cultural programming, campus arts leadership and advocacy, and social media marketing. She gained additional arts administration experience as a museum assistant with the Kentucky Folk Art Center, as the cultural and advocacy events coordinator for the Student Programming Board, and a visual arts intern with Sojourn Arts and Culture in Louisville.
During her time at MSU, Busby was named a Graduate Dean Scholar, honored as an Outstanding Student in Art and Design (2014, 2016, 2017), and received the Award of Exceptional Merit at the Celebration of Student Scholarship (2015, 2016).

Her artwork has been exhibited across the state and published in multiple editions of “Inscape: Art and Literary Magazine” (2014, 2016, 2017). She also made the Dean’s List every semester.

During the afternoon ceremony, Joseph and Kelly Craft of Lexington were presented with Honorary of Doctor of Public Service degrees.

In 2014, the Crafts pledged $4 million to establish Morehead State University’s Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, a dual-credit residential high school for academically exceptional Kentucky students. The contribution is the single largest cash gift in the history of the University. Since the initial gift, the Crafts have committed an additional $2.8 million to establish and fund summer programs for Craft Academy students; to enhance staffing; and to improve the overall program.

Faculty marshals were Dr. Frances L. Helphinstine, professor of English, and Dr. Dora Ahmadi, associate professor of mathematics.

Student marshals were Anne M. Patrick and Maggie E. Todd, Graduate Programs; Maggie F. Pollitt and Brooklyn G. Williams, College of Science; Mark A. Curtis and Rachel Shelton, College of Business and Technology; Austin T. Johnson and Andrea B. Wallace, College of Education; Jacob C. Miller and Max J. Prowant, Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

MSU Chamber Singers sang the national anthem; MSU Concert Choir led the alma mater and performed during the commencement program.

Following the ceremony, the newest alumni were inducted into the MSU Alumni Association Inc. by its president, Jason Rainey.

ROTC students were commissioned as part of each program.

Additional information on Spring Commencement exercises is available by calling 606-783-2008.