PIKEVILLE – The University of Pikeville honored the academic achievements of 265 graduates at the associate, baccalaureate and master’s degree levels, including 124 Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree recipients from the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) during commencement exercises on Saturday.
Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine: John W. Becher, D.O., president of the American Osteopathic Association, delivered KYCOM’s keynote address and was presented with an honorary Doctor of Osteopathic Education degree.
“Influencing change in our health care system is hard work and it will require all the knowledge and experience you have gained on your journey so far,” said Becher in his message to graduates. “Use your best judgment, trust your instincts, remember your osteopathic training and most importantly … take action. Act with humility and respect for those whose lives you serve.”
The newest graduates bring the number of osteopathic physicians graduating from KYCOM to 1,000.
College of Arts and Sciences, Coleman College of Business, Elizabeth Akers Elliott School of Nursing and the Patton College of Education: Delivering a heartwarming rendition of the alma mater, “The Orange and Black,” the voices of the university’s concert choir heralded the end of a successful journey and a new beginning for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences, Coleman College of Business, the Elizabeth Akers Elliott School of Nursing and the Patton College of Education. Valedictorians for the Class of 2016 were Wesley Gray Barnett of Cynthiana Jesse James Coleman of Raccoon and Haley B. Johnson of Coal Grove, Ohio. Dustin Edward Stacy of Belfry, earned the distinction of class salutatorian.
Presiding over his first commencement ceremonies as president of the University of Pikeville, Burton J. Webb, Ph.D., shared “We live in an increasingly complex world that will demand more of you than we have the ability to imagine today. By the end of your careers, most of you will work in industries that have not yet been invented and some of you will create those industries. A University of Pikeville education prepares you for more than your first job, we take the long view and have filled you up with knowledge from a wide variety of disciplines. These liberal arts and sciences have prepared you for a lifetime of learning and service. We are proud of you, we want the best for you and stand ready to continue to help you as you build a life well-lived.”
Commencement week activities for the College of Arts and Sciences also included the pinning ceremony for 17 new professional social workers. The Elliott School of Nursing honored 32 new nurses during a traditional pinning ceremony.
Also honored were Dwyna Dean, M.S.N., associate professor of nursing, and Benjamin Clayton, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, who were first- and second-place recipients respectively of the William Wade and Helen Record Walker Teaching Excellence Award.
Commencement keynote speaker W. James (Jim) Host, a trailblazer and innovator in college sports marketing and Kentucky politics, received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree during the commencement ceremony. Host encouraged the graduates to “Give back everyday and think of something you can do to make the lives better of those around you.”