University celebrates largest graduating class in history

By Kim Chaudoin on 5/7/2013


The Lipscomb community marked another milestone this spring as more than 659 graduates were honored for completing coursework in May or August 2013.


For the eighth consecutive year, more students than ever before participated in commencement, held May 4 in Allen Arena. During the ceremony, 385 undergraduates, 216 graduates and 68 doctors of pharmacy graduates were recognized. Included in this year’s graduating class were 35 veterans who were part of the university’s Yellow Ribbon Program as well as the first students to graduate with a Master of Science degree in biomolecular science.

 “We want you to be humbly proud of what you have accomplished,” President L. Randolph Lowry challenged the graduates who were to a packed Allen Arena. “Think carefully how you use this new resource. You have the potential to make a difference in the world with the knowledge that you now have. And, remember, you will always be a Bison. You are a member of this herd and will forever be welcome on this campus. We pledge to you to continually work to increase the value of your diploma with what we do here.”

During commencement, Jeff Whitehorn, chief executive officer of Nashville’s TriStar Summit Medical Center, was recognized as Lipscomb University’s 2013 Alumnus of the Year.

“Have passion in all you do and live life to the fullest,” said Whitehorn, a 1984 graduate, as he addressed the graduating class. “Remember that attitude is everything. And, be bold in your faith.”

Three faculty members were recognized with outstanding teacher awards during the ceremony. Kent Gallaher, professor of biology and chair of the department; Autumn Marshall, professor of nutrition and chair of the department; and Marcia Stewart, professor of education, were elected as this year’s outstanding teachers by the student body.

In addition, Ruth Henry, professor of kinesiology who has been on faculty since 1991, was awarded the John William Baker Summer Fellowship Award. The Baker award is made possible annually by Alton and Mary Baker in appreciation of the quality education Dr. Baker received while enrolled as an undergraduate student at Lipscomb. The $5,000 award is to be used for research that will contribute to the advancement of academic excellence and is to be awarded to a university teacher manifesting excellence in the classroom.

Cameron Eaton Gilliam, a molecular biology major from Little Rock, Ark., was also recognized for receiving the Stephen Lee Marsh Award.