Randolph-Macon College celebrated Commencement on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the R-MC Frank E. Brown Fountain Plaza. 255 graduates were awarded degrees.
Following tradition, the graduates marched across the “Red Brick Road,” located on the college's historic campus along the Janet Harvey Trivette Alumni Walkway. The name of each graduate was imprinted on a brick and the walkway will eventually contain the names of every graduate dating back to the early 1900s.
Award-winning journalist and TV personality Katie Couric received the Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters and delivered the Commencement address. She told graduates, "Finding a higher purpose is so important. And you’ve honed the qualities required to do this right here at Randolph Macon: a generous spirit and an open heart." She also asked students to submit questions through social media, which she randomly selected and answered during her speech. Students asked about the challenges they will face after college, whether their generation will rise to the challenges that lie ahead and if it's normal to be nervous about leaving college. She answered the questions by sharing stories from her life and added, "Don’t let anyone define who you are. Each one of you is unique and you’re the only one who can define who you are or what you’ll become." Couric ended by telling the Class of 2013, "Put down that iPhone so you won’t miss it. Live. Really live. And do everything you can to become our next great generation."
Couric is host of Katie, a syndicated daytime talk show, and a special correspondent for ABC News contributing stories for ABC World News, Nightline, 20/20, Good Morning America, This Week and primetime news specials. In 2006, she became the first solo female anchor of a national nightly news broadcast when she signed on as anchor and managing editor of CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.
After losing her husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer in 1998, Couric became a public leader in the fight against the country's second largest cancer killer. Her advocacy has led to the creation of the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, which she co-founded with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and cancer activist Lilly Tartikoff. She is also a co-founder of The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. In addition, she has helped raise nearly $200 million as a co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer, an organization that provides funds to accelerate research that can deliver new therapies to patients quickly.
An Arlington, Virginia native, Couric graduated, with honors, from the University of Virginia with a bachelor's degree in English and a focus on American Studies. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives (Random House, 2011) and the co-author of two children's books.
Randolph-Macon President Robert R. Lindgren also conferred honorary degrees to two other distinguished leaders in addition to Couric:
This year's senior speaker, Alyssa Warren, urged her classmates to be fearless and embrace the future. She added, "If past experience can give us any indication of what is to come—expect an exciting, wonderful, gratifying new beginning!"
Warren graduated with bachelor's degrees in Biology and Religious Studies. She is the daughter of Randolph-Macon Trustee Dr. Jan Carter '78 and Dr. Col. Harry Warren.
After graduation, Alyssa will attend Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) under a new guaranteed admissions agreement between Randolph-Macon College and EVMS.
In addition, co-chairs of the 2013 Senior Class Gift, Jessie Holt and Nick Lapres, announced that the class of 2013 spearheaded a student-driven fundraising campaign with a record-breaking participation rate of over 96%. They raised $6,074.00.
The Boydton Society held its annual reunion and celebrated the 50th reunion for the Class of 1963, the 55th reunion for the Class of 1958, and the 60th reunion for the Class of 1953. Members of The Boydton Society enjoyed breakfast with Lindgren while he updated them on the status of R-MC's Master Plan and Strategic Plan. They also visited the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, toured R-MC's campus, and attended presentations by professors. They ended the weekend with a celebration dinner and dance in the Brock Sports and Recreation Center.
Brock Commons, a new student center, opened its doors to the public for the first time following Commencement. Tours of the new facility were given throughout the afternoon. Brock Commons includes a movie theater, an expanded campus bookstore, dining services with an open café, a balcony, a portico with tables, a student mailroom, and multi-purpose rooms and spaces.
The new student center will officially open in summer 2013.
History Professor Emeritus James E. Scanlon signed copies of his new book, Randolph-Macon College: Traditions and New Directions, 1967-2005 (Randolph-Macon College, 2013). Those eager to find out more about R-MC's history stood in line inside the new Brock Commons student center to purchase copies of the book and chat with Scanlon. The book is available in the R-MC bookstore.For more information contact Pam Harris Cox at (804) 752-3712, firstname.lastname@example.org or Anne Marie Lauranzon at (804) 752-7317, email@example.com.