Over 140 graduates were honored during Lenoir-Rhyne University's fall Commencement Ceremony for undergraduate and graduate students on Thursday, Dec. 14.
Dr. Monica L. Campbell, Associate Professor of Education and Director of the University's Teaching Scholars program, served as the commencement speaker. Dr. Campbell is the recipient of the 2017 Raymond Morris 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. Dr. Campbell dedicated the ceremony to Bost saying, "Sadly Raymond Morris Bost passed away this summer, so this evening we commemorate his life and dedication to education."
Currently in her tenth year teaching at LRU, Dr. Campbell is co-chair of the School of Education and has served as the Elementary Education Program Coordinator for the past seven years. Prior to joining the faculty at LRU, Dr. Campbell served as Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She also worked as a special education teacher in Catawba County Schools for six years, and received a degree in special education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
While addressing future graduates and audience members in P.E. Monroe Auditorium, Dr. Campbell shared lessons gained from her experience as an educator. "My story is about discovering hope through relationships with others and learning from those who have been excluded or isolated," she said. Dr. Campbell also encouraged students to share their life stories with the world after leaving the University. "I want to inspire you to spend your life composing, creating, drafting, and sharing your unique life story, because in my opinion that is the most important thing you will do as you leave here as Lenoir-Rhyne graduates. It will not be a perfect story no matter who you are or what you do, but imperfection is what makes great stories."
Both master's degrees and bachelor's degrees were awarded during the ceremony. The University currently offers more than 50 undergraduate programs and nearly 30 graduate programs between three campus locations including Asheville and Hickory, N.C, and Columbia, S.C. LRU will begin offering its first doctoral program of study, the Family Nurse Practitioner/Doctorate of Nursing Practice (FNP/DNP), in the fall of 2018.