MURRAY, Ky. – On Saturday, Dec. 9, Murray State University celebrated the December 2017 Commencement Ceremony in the CFSB Center. During the commencement program, 855 degrees were conferred to students representing 23 states and 16 countries. Among the graduates were 158 who graduated with honors and 16 who completed the University’s inaugural doctoral program in educational leadership.

Dr. Robert Davies, president of the University, presided over the ceremony. Davies, along with Provost Mark Arant, administered the conferring of degrees.

“By you being here today, you believe in this great University and utilize the opportunities that you were afforded,” Davies said. “Your future is vast and exciting as new options abound, and you have the confidence, the skills and talents to seize these new opportunities afforded to you. You are prepared because of your Murray State experience and the knowledge and insights you have gained.”

During the commencement service, Elaina Barnett and Caleb Brannon, the outstanding seniors for fall 2017, delivered valedictions addressing their fellow graduates. Barnett graduated with a bachelor’s degree in studio art, while Brannon graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness. Both individuals graduated summa cum laude.

Also featured during the ceremony was the formal Presentation of Colors by the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) from Paducah Tilghman High School. Distinguished Professor John Dressler, from the department of music, served as the ceremony’s mace-bearer.

Faculty in attendance at the service were led in by the recipients of the Regents Teaching Awards for Excellence: Mickey Miller, Dr. Rebecca Pender Baum, Dr. Andrew Black, Matthew Crider, Dr. Traci Byrd, Dr. Christopher Trzepacz and Dr. Michelle Santiago. They were joined by Presidential Research Fellow William R. Jones, Max Carman Outstanding Teacher Award Recipient John Fannin, University Distinguished Mentor Michael Flinn, Faculty Advisor of the Year Beverly Fort, Faculty Distinguished Service Recipient F. Gilland Welsch and University Emerging Scholars Vladyslav Krotov and Diane Nititham-Tunney.

Faculty marshals assisting with the ceremony included Dr. Susana Bloomdahl, Dr. Traci Byrd, Dr. Heath Keller, Dr. Michael Kemp, Dr. Melony Shemberger, Matt Shultz and F. Gilland Welsch.

Graduates, family and friends are encouraged to continue sharing memories of the day’s events on social media using #RacerGraduation.

On Saturday, Dec. 9, Murray State University celebrated the December 2017 Commencement Ceremony in the CFSB Center. During the commencement program, 855 degrees were conferred to students representing 23 states and 16 countries.
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