State superintendent urges School of Business, Education graduates to be leaders

BUIES CREEK – In a joint ceremony Saturday afternoon at the John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center, Campbell University’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and School of Education awarded degrees to about 277 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

June St. Clair Atkinson, the North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction, delivered the commencement address, encouraging the new graduates to be leaders, no matter their job title, their salary, the paths they take or where they choose to be planted, she said.

“You can be a leader, and it may be easier to see yourself as a leader when you realize that leadership is not about the title or having a higher salary,” said Atkinson, who also received an honorary degree from Campbell on Saturday. “Leadership is about how you take on challenges, adapt to changes, and encourage others.”

Following Atkinson’s address, the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business conferred about 134 Bachelor of Business Administration and 47 Master of Business Administration degrees, while the School of Education awarded 73 Bachelor of Science, one Bachelor of Arts, 10 Bachelor of Social Work, nine Master of Education, two Master of School Administration and two Master of Arts degrees. 

Among the students receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration degree on Saturday was Nolan Perry of Goldsboro, N.C. The outgoing vice president of the Student Government Association, Perry delivered the student greeting during the commencement service.

“Today marks the first steps of a new chapter in our lives . . . ,” Perry said. “Tomorrow we may not return to Buies Creek . . . but we will take Campbell University with us. Your impact as our advisors and professors, mentors and peers has instilled in us a love for this university and the knowledge necessary for us to succeed.”

In addition to Atkinson and the graduating students, also honored during the joint ceremony Saturday was Robert L. Whiteman Jr., a member of the Campbell University Board of Trustees and a longtime benefactor of the university who retired as president of Eljer Plumbingware. He received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, which recognizes citizens and students who exhibit the ideals of the heart, mind and conduct of Algernon Sydney Sullivan. Sullivan was a lawyer, businessman, and philanthropist originally from the South who lived in New York in the late 19th century

During Campbell’s College of Arts & Sciences commencement ceremony earlier Saturday, Luke Job Ennis was recognized as the student recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, which the New York Southern Society established in 1925. An exercise and sports science major, Ennis graduated Saturday morning and plans to attend medical school after working for a year in research.

“Campbell has prepared me for my future not just by giving me knowledge, but by tapping into my potential and making me grow as a person in my community. It developed my passion for learning and for serving others,” Ennis wrote in a piece reflecting on his time at Campbell that’s posted on the We Are Campbell blog. 

“My time at Campbell has been transformative”

In addition to Ennis, 11 students from the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and the School of Education answered our questions about their undergraduate experience at Campbell, which we’ve posted on our blog, We Are Campbell. Below are excerpts from the student’s responses. Head to We Are Campbell to read the full accounts of what these members of the Class of 2013 have to say about how they’ve grown, what they’ve learned, what they’ll miss, and where they’re off to next.

“I came to Campbell to find my way in life, and I did. . . . My next step includes applying everything that Campbell taught me, while I pursue my dreams and build the new ones.” – Sena Bekric

“I cannot believe how quickly four years can pass by. Graduation is a truly bittersweet time, and I am so thankful for this wonderful chapter of my life that Campbell has contributed.” – Brittany Elizabeth Bowen

“The Christian education that I have received while being able to grow personally and spiritually within the past four years has been humbling. Not only that but also the leadership of President Wallace and his colleagues and how compassionate and loyal they are about creating the best learning atmosphere for students makes me Campbell Proud.” – Chante’Renee Clark

“The School of Education not only gave me the best instruction possible but also helped me develop the essential communication skills and self-confidence needed to land a job. With the help of my teachers and classmates, I’ve truly found my passion in teaching.” – Amanda Eason

“Campbell has prepared me for my future not just by giving me knowledge, but by tapping into my potential and making me grow as a person in my community. It developed my passion for learning and for serving others.” – Luke Ennis

“My time at Campbell has been the most monumental turning point in my life. My experience here instilled me with purpose in academia and motivation and dedication to being a leader of the future. Most importantly, though, it has given me a commitment to service that will extend well into my graduate studies and professional life.” – Samuel Faulkner

“There are many schools that I have could have attended, but there is a special place in my heart for a place that begins and ends with God.” – Ashleigh Glover

“My time at Campbell has been transformative. I entered Campbell unsure of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but the supportive community of professors and classmates I found here really allowed me to build my confidence, explore my interests, and ultimately, choose a career in education.” – Casey Lanier

“The people I’ve developed friendships with over the past four years will remain in my heart and memory for many years to come. From the roommate I was assigned freshman year who became the most amazing best friend I could ask for to my advisor who made a tremendous impact on my life by sharing his love of teaching with me, I will never forget the relationships I have built with these phenomenal people.” – Samantha Medlin

“I’m so thankful that I found Campbell. I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience or a better education that has prepared me for success in my career in a competitive field.” – Abby Norris

“Campbell was the beginning of a new journey in my life as a student, and what a journey it has been!” – Courtney Lynn Phillips

“Throughout my time at Campbell I have been blessed with so many experiences that have helped me grow academically and spiritually. I know that so many other universities do not offer these same experiences that change people’s lives for the better.” – Lindsay Rusche

Photo: Left to right, Jessica Johnson, Tonisha Baker and Ashley Anderson before the joint commencement ceremony between the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and the School of Education on Saturday. Johnson, a student in the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Both Baker and Anderson were students in the School of Education. Baker received a Bachelor of Science degree, and Anderson a Bachelor of Social Work.

Article by Cherry Crayton