Special to the Register
Eastern Kentucky University recognized 1,323 degree candidates during two fall commencement ceremonies Saturday.
A morning ceremony recognized degree candidates from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Business & Technology. The afternoon ceremony honored candidates from the Colleges of Education, Health Sciences and Justice & Safety.
The keynote speaker for the morning ceremony was Hardy Tribble, Edgewood, Ky., a 1962 Eastern graduate and a member of the University’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni. Tribble retired from Procter & Gamble as a purchasing manager in 1996 after 31 years with the company and has remained very active with the university, serving one term as president of the Alumni Association and now serving on the EKU Foundation Board.
“In your future lives there will be periods of great success and happiness,” Tribble said. “But, inevitably, there will be those difficult days during which you will have to force yourself to reach into the very depth of your personal resources to overcome some obstacle. Never be frightened … A problem is nothing more than an opportunity to succeed.
“If your experience is as mine has been, you will also discover one of the intangibles of the education you now have is the development of the understanding which will enable you to overcome your darkest days with steadiness, insight and grace. In many ways, that is the essence of a higher education.”
Tribble, who received an honorary doctor of humanities degree, urged the graduates to remember the EKU faculty and staff who had helped them and to generously support their alma mater.
“The more resources EKU has available, the more it can do to enhance its reputation and, therefore, the prestige of your degree,” he said.
The afternoon speaker was Dr. Joseph Hamilton, Nashville, Tenn., the Landon C. Garland Distinguished Professor of Physics at Vanderbilt University and one of the world’s leading nuclear physics researchers.
“What our troubled world needs are people who are willing to do what they can to make a difference,” Hamilton said, “whether quietly in doing a needed job the best they can, even if a society does not notice or when finding themselves in a position of power or wealth, are caring and courageous enough to make big changes in society.
“Use all your powers of critical thinking to explore every reason to make a particular choice,” Hamilton continued.
“It is most unfortunate for the well-being of our country that too few Americans in general, and far too few politicians in particular, use their powers of critical thinking in seeking solutions to our problems. Many roads will look tempting, so make your best critical analysis of each,” he said. “Then having made your best choice, be persistent. In every area of life, you will find people with greater intellect, greater physical strength, greater talent, and greater resources than you have. The only thing you can control is your determination and persistence.”
Hamilton received an honorary doctor of science degree.
Speaking as representatives of their graduating class in the morning and afternoon ceremonies, respectively, were Nicholas Wade, of Danville, and Keith Douglas, of Lexington.
The honorees included 106 associate degree candidates, 888 bachelor’s degree candidates, 325 master’s degree candidates and four doctoral degree candidates.
Both ceremonies can be viewed in their entirety at video.eku.edu/commencement.