Lenoir-Rhyne University held its fall 2018 Commencement Thursday, Dec. 13, at 4 p.m. at P.E. Monroe Auditorium and awarded nearly 120 bachelor's and master's degrees. The University currently offers 53 undergraduate programs and 30 graduate programs across three campus locations including Asheville and Hickory, North Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina.
Veronica McComb, Ph.D., associate professor of history and director of the University Honors Academy, was the commencement speaker. McComb is the 2018 recipient of the Raymond M. Bost Distinguished Professor Award, which recognizes and encourages outstanding teaching. The award is named for the seventh president of Lenoir-Rhyne and is presented to a faculty member who has demonstrated complete dedication to effectiveness in teaching and to the academic and personal welfare of students.
While addressing future graduates and audience members, McComb shared some lessons she learned about embracing the wisdom of life's inevitable challenges in her talk, titled "The Joy of Trials."
McComb, who joined LR in 2011, received her doctorate in American and New England Studies from Boston University. Her doctoral work focused on the influence of religion on the immigration experiences of Nigerians in the United States and was generously supported by the Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship for Religion and Ethics from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
In addition, the University bestowed upon Ted W. Goins Jr., an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Each year, following a nomination process, the LR board of trustees approves awards to be presented at commencement. Honorary doctorate degrees are awarded to persons of outstanding character and personality who have distinguished themselves for scholarship or literary achievement, won professional or other distinctions, and/or have rendered conspicuous service in a particular field.
An LR alumnus, Goins graduated in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Goins currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of Lutheran Services of the Carolinas, an organization that provides care and service to 5,600 Carolinians. Goins began his career in long-term care as a certified nursing assistant. He is a licensed nursing home administrator and served at Trinity Village for 10 years. Goins currently serves on the Board of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.