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Keynote speaker Dr. Brooks Blevins, ‘92, Noel Boyd Professor of Ozarks Studies in the history department at Missouri State University, used the life stories of three Lyon alumni to illustrate the value of perseverance, patience and pragmatism: detailing the turbulence that Lyon College has faced, yet highlighting what it means to survive.
“You should not be here. I should not be here. WE should not be here. This college should not be here, and the fact that we are here today, in the 150th year of the life of Lyon College, defies logic,” said Blevins.
He continued,”Lyon College is a survivor and a thriver, and I would like to think we, as the people of Lyon, represent the tenacity, the doggedness, the plain ol’ cussed grit poured into the foundations of this place. I am convinced that we imbibe the very marrow of this school and its history, that we pack it in our suitcases when we say goodbye to Spragins and the apartments and Wilson and Rogers and head off into the world.”
Senior Class President Olivia Echols shared reflections from the senior class, asking students to ponder the question, “What is the best investment you can make?” Quoting Warren Buffet, Echols succinctly illustrated what it truly means to strive for one’s own excellence.
“The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself. If you invest in yourself, no one can take it away from you,” said Echols.
Perry Wilson, chairman of the Lyon College Board of Trustees, announced Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Tharanga Wijetunge as the recipient of the Lamar Williamson Prize for Faculty Excellence. The Board of Trustees established the Williamson Prize in 1979 in memory of Lamar Williamson. A memorial fund established by the late J. Gaston Williamson supports the silver cup and stipend awarded to the Williamson Prize recipient.
Eight graduates also received special honors and awards during the ceremony:
Zachary Blake - The Lester Award
Johnathan Brightwell - Alma Cole Metcalf Endowed Scholarship Award
Brittany Cook - The Mosley Fellowship
Taylor Fitterling - The Dr. and Mrs. John D. Spragins Memorial Award
Michael Jorgensen - The Dr. Samuel W. Williams Fellowship
Benjamin Norton - The Seibert Fellowship
Hannah Wu - The Charles H. Coffin Scholarship Medal
Hakeem Yatim - The Dahlquist Scholar Athlete Award
Hakeem Yatim - The Mathematical and Chemical Family Graduate School Scholarship
See the full list of graduates here.
Honors Convocation album
Senior Dinner Album
Senior BBQ Album
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