The Hanover College Class of 2018 received diplomas during the institution's 185th Commencement. The event was held Saturday, May 26, overlooking the Ohio River at the Point.
Lake Lambert, capping his third year as Hanover’s president, delivered the commencement address. Cara Hoskins, a communications major and recipient of the Henry C. Long Citation for Scholarship and General Excellence as the outstanding senior female, served as the class speaker.
Lambert, in his remarks to the graduating class, examined the juxtaposition of will versus fear and the idea of courage as a moral virtue. He stated "Aristotle teaches that all moral virtues are means between two extremes, and courage is no exception. On one end may be cowardness, but on the other end is being what we might describe as foolhardy. The task is to develop courage as a moral habit so that you are able to discern rightly between being fearful and being foolhardy."
Through a connection to current culture's fascination with superheroes, he continued, "... How often is our force of will undermined not only by fear, but by doubt? And shouldn't it be? Isn't it the very definition of being foolhardy to rush to judgement, a rush to action without all of the facts? Are we not the definition of foolhardy without some good liberal arts critical thinking? Courage as a mean seems very wise indeed."
Near the conclusion of his comments, Lambert offered the question - as the graduates prepare to go out into the world - "Ask yourself what you fear." He continued, "My purpose is not to make you anxious. I want instead to remind you that there was a reason why we sought to challenge you here. We were trying to teach you to be stronger, to be more confident, to persevere and to be more courageous. It is our hope that this courage will be brave yet not foolish, faithful but not fanatical, determined but open-minded, confident yet humble."
Hoskins, during her address to the gathered crowd of more than 2,000, pondered the very purpose of college. She noted, "College is about learning. Learning who you are and who you want to be. Learning through discussion and new knowledge and how to be successful. College is about making friends who will stick by your side for the rest of your life. It is about gaining confidence and becoming a leader that inspires others."
While both reminiscing and inspiring, she stated, "There were many times through our journey through college where we doubted ourselves and we thought we couldn’t do something. We might have been joking some of the time, teasing that we would never finish an assignment or do well in a class. But we overcame our struggles and met our end goals, learning that leadership and success requires confidence, humility and courage."
The Class of 2018 included 235 students, featuring 41 scholars who earned their diplomas with honors. Fourteen graduates achieved high honors (magna cum laude) and 10 students completed their degrees with highest honors (summa cum laude).
Steven Jobe, vice president and dean of academic affairs, recognized three retiring faculty members. Miryam Criado, Celia Dollmeyer and José Manuel Reyes, each a professor of Spanish, collectively totaled more than 60 years of service to the College.
Mark Levett ’71, chair of Hanover’s Board of Trustees, welcomed students, families and guests. Dawn Doup-Pandit ’98 offered remarks on behalf of the College's alumni association. The Rev. Catherine Y.E. Knott, Hanover’s chaplain, performed the benediction and invocation.
The ceremony also featured selections by the Hanover College Choir and the Hanover College Instrumental Ensemble.
The Hanover College Choir, under the direction of Madlen Batchvarova, professor of music, performed selections from Steven Schwartz and Chester Alwes, as well as lead the class in the singing of Meredith Willson’s “The Alma Mater.”
The Hanover College Instrumental Ensemble, directed by David Mruzek, associate professor of music, performed William Henry Monk’s “Abide with Me,” Robert Sheldon’s “Integrity,” David Gorham’s "Processional March" and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “March from the Consecration of the House" and "Ode to Joy."
Marshals for the commencement ceremony were Ann Kirkland, professor of French, Dan Murphy, professor of history, and Ruth Turner, professor of political science.
Rev. L. John Gable '78, senior pastor at the Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, delivered the sermon during the College's traditional baccalaureate service, held Friday, May 25, in Fitzgibbon Recital Hall, Lynn Center for Fine Arts.
Joselyn Evans-Bautista and Joshua Hill, members of the graduating class, read scripture during the service.