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Spring Commencement recognizes nearly 1,200 degree candidates

Morehead State University honored nearly 1,200 degree candidates at its two spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 12, at the Academic-Athletic Center.

There 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 Dr. Joseph A. (Jay) Morgan, who offered a congratulatory handshake to each of those completing graduate and undergraduate degree requirements.
Jeffery Tyler Syck of Pikeville was the morning commencement speaker for the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Education. He is the oldest son of Jeffery and Laura Syck. He is a candidate for a Bachelor of Arts degree in government and history.

At Morehead State, Syck was awarded a full academic scholarship through the George M. Luckey Jr. Academic Honors Program. He has served for three years as president of the Honors student body, as a founding member and vice-president of the Cicero Society, as the founding president of the Residence Hall Association, and in various roles in the Student Government Association.

“Education is something that never ends. There may be no more tuition, but the learning never stops. Without a real education we can only ever live half-lives: Never able to fully account for the moral grounds of our actions or able to understand the world we belong to,” Syck told the crowd. “In a couple of moments, we will all graduate from Morehead State University, ending a momentous chapter in our lives. Most of us have already begun the journey that is a real education, but I urge you to never let this education end - for in seeking to understand the good in life you will find it for yourself.”
After graduation, Syck plans to attend graduate school at the University of Virginia and pursue a Doctor of Philosophy degree in political science. His ambition is to become a professor so that he can mentor future generations of students.

Maggie Fleming Pollitt of Hillsboro was this year’s afternoon commencement speaker for the College of Science.

She is the daughter of Jackie and Nina Pollitt of Hillsboro.

She is a candidate for a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical sciences.

Pollitt has been active in undergraduate research under the mentorship of Dr. Kurt Gibbs studying spinal cord injury for three years.

A first-generation college student, Pollitt has maintained a cumulative grade-point-average of 4.0 and has made the dean’s list every semester.

“More than just a ceremony today is indisputably about you. Today is about every ounce of work that you invested into making this diploma a reality. Today is about the multitude of trials that you endured and the inexplicable relief of your triumph. Today, we are leaving Morehead State as better informed, more capable individuals, and we have diplomas to prove it,” said Pollitt.

“Today, we will certainly rejoice in our achievements, but let us not forget the more important parts of life. The luck of our circumstance, and the gift of our education, affords us the opportunity to serve others.”

Pollitt traveled to the Dominican Republic for two weeks during the winter break of 2016 to learn about health facilities. In the Dominican Republic, she volunteered at a local orphanage and participated in learning experiences to examine the underlying causes of health care disparities.

After graduation, she plans to attend law school at the University of Cincinnati where she has been awarded a full-tuition scholarship as a member of the inaugural class of the Taft Scholars Program.

For the commencement exercises, the grand marshal and macebearer was Dr. Janelle M. Hare.

Faculty marshals were Dr. Frances L. Helphinstine, professor of English, and Dr. Julia Ann Hypes, associate professor of sports management.

Student marshals were Kennedy Victoria Haught and Aaron Phillip Zucherman, Graduate Programs; Sarah Jane Elam and Kimberly Brooke Meade, College of Science; Allie Marae McKenzie and Benjamin Walker Moore, College of Business and Technology; Morgan Diana Caldwell and Nathaniel Scott Juniper, College of Education;  Ross Michael Haney and Miranda Kay Johnson, Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Matthew Hammond sang the national anthem and Dr. Eric Brown sang the alma mater.

ROTC students were commissioned as part of each program.

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

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

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