Randolph-Macon College celebrated Commencement on May 31, 2014 at the R-MC Frank E. Brown Fountain Plaza.
Following tradition, 225 seniors 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 will be imprinted on a brick and the walkway, which will eventually contain the names of every graduate dating back to the early 1900s.
R-MC graduates welcomed journalist Brit Hume, who served as this year's Commencement speaker.Hume encouraged graduates to work hard, be polite, and perservere. "Whatever the job is, however menial it may seem, it matters to someone above you that it be done properly. And if you do so and do it cheerfully and well it will be noticed. It will especially be noticed in such small things as your phone manners." Speaking about the future, Hume said, "Opportunity will knock many times in many different ways. Not only once." With more than 43 years of journalism experience, Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel and contributes to all major political coverage. Before joining FOX News in 1996, Hume was with ABC News for 23 years, serving as chief White House correspondent from 1989 through 1996. During his tenure, he contributed to World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Nightline and This Week as well as various specials for the news division.
Hume, who received the Honorary Degree Doctor of Letters, was joined by three other honorary degree recipients:
Paul Sekyere-Nyantakyi '93, M.D. received the Honorary Degree Doctor of Science. Sekyere-Nyantakyi '93 is the Chief Executive Officer of MDS-Lancet Laboratories in Accra, Ghana.
William M. Kelso, Ph.D. received the Honorary Degree Doctor of Science. Kelso is the Director of Research & Interpretation of Jamestown Rediscovery at Historic Jamestowne, a site jointly managed by Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service.
Brian P. Lamb received the Honorary Degree Doctor of Letters. Lamb is a journalist and the founder, executive chairman and now retired CEO of C-SPAN. Lamb has been at the helm of the public affairs channel since he helped the cable industry launch it in 1979.
Dr. Bruce M. Unger was a political science professor at Randolph-Macon College for 40 years. He was a celebrated educator and received numerous awards during his career. Unger planned to retire in 2008, but lost his courageous fight against cancer before his retirement was official. The Bruce M. Unger Award was established to recognize the contributions of retiring faculty with more than ten years of service to the College.
This year's recipients collectively have 129 years of service to Randolph-Macon College.
Amy V. deGraff, who joined the faculty in 1978, served as chair of the Department of Romance Languages for 11 years. She was the recipient of the Helen Warriner-Burke Distinguished Service award from the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (2012), an Outstanding Chapter Award from The American Association of Teachers of French (2009) and the Palmes Academiques from the French Government (2008). deGraff earned her B.A. from University of Michigan, her M.A. from University of Illinois and her Ph.D. from University of Virginia.
Charles J. Leska joined the faculty in 2001 and served as chair of the Computer Science department for the past four years. He also served six years on the Curriculum Committee. A member of both the Technology Advisory Committee and the Committee on Faculty Development, Leska earned his B.S. from LeMoyne College, his M.A. from University of Vermont and his Ph.D. from Syracuse University.
Joseph E. Mattys, who joined the faculty in 1990, directed 50 R-MC theater productions, including more than 100 performances of A Christmas Carol. Mattys served as chair of the Department of the Arts since 2005, and for the last several years he was the director of the First-Year Experience program. In 2009 he was the recipient of R-MC's Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Faculty award. Mattys earned his B.A. from Colorado College, his M.A. from Illinois State University and his M.F.A. from University of Virginia.
Daniel V. McCaffrey joined the faculty in 1975. An early user of computerized instruction for teaching Classical languages, he also pioneered the computer literacy program on the Randolph-Macon campus. McCaffrey received the United Methodist Church Exemplary Teaching Award in 2012 and the Samuel Nelson Gray award in 2002. He also served on the faculty of the annual Governor’s Latin Academy, which is held at R-MC. McCaffrey earned his B.A. from Fordham University and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Robert J. Resnick joined the faculty in 1996. He is internationally recognized as an expert in the area of ADHD. Resnick has served as an expert for the Virginia State Police, a volunteer at the Fan Free Clinic, a member of the advisory board for the Daily Planet, and a member of the Board of Directors Executive Committee of the Jewish Community Center. Resnick earned his B.A. from Syracuse University, his M.A. from Temple University and his Ph.D. from University of Tennessee.
This year's Senior Speaker, Keith "Ky" Hoang '14, is an economics/business and arts management major. A member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, Hoang was in 2012 awarded a $1,000 Sigma Phi Epsilon National Competition Scholarship by the SigEp Educational Foundation.
He also served as a student representative on the College Life Committee, was an Orientation Leader his junior year and one of only two Head Orientation Leaders his senior year. In addition, Hoang served as a mentor in the Higgins Academic Center, completed two internships and studied abroad in Great Britain. Most recently, Hoang was presented the 2014 Greek Man of the Year award at the annual Omicron Delta Kappa Awards Ceremony.
The Class of 2014 raised over $6,827 from 97 percent of their class, setting a new Senior Class Gift Campaign participation record at Randolph-Macon. Thank you to everyone who made this year's campaign a success.
The Senior Class Gift Campaign educates Randolph-Macon College seniors on the importance of philanthropy. By working in tandem with the Randolph-Macon Office of Annual Giving to create a student-driven fundraising campaign, the Senior Class Gift Committee aims to make the seniors’ first giving experience enjoyable and meaningful. The hope is that as a result, the seniors will recognize the importance of their generosity and continue the tradition of giving as alumni.
Each senior was asked to make a donation to the college and the Class of 2014 Gift reflects the collective sum of all their contributions.