Cumberland University


Cumberland University Celebrates 172nd Spring Commencement Exercises


Click here to view complete list of graduates

Madison Nicole Pavan, a Child Growth and Learning major from Mt. Juliet, poses with her parents, Ron and Tammi Pavan. 

Spring commencement exercises were held this past weekend at Cumberland University, where 450 new graduates received diplomas.

With an at capacity audience in the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center Dr. Harvill Eaton, President of the university, challenged the graduates to go out into the world with the knowledge they have acquired at Cumberland, make change and leave their mark.

“So, my simple words to you are ‘Go’!”. said Eaton, “Be successful in your journey through life. Live your life well, live it with meaning, and live it with integrity.”

During this year’s ceremony two members of the community and a student were honored for their service and dedication to the University, Lebanon and Wilson County community. Mrs. Pat Bryant, Ms. Sue Vanatta, and student Chris Hall were each presented with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. Family members of the late Dr. Joe Frank Bryant served as Mace Bearers for the ceremony. The President’s Award was presented to Tais Lacerda Bezerra, a student from Brazil who graduated cum laude with a 3.93 grade point average and received two degrees. The Cumberland University Service award was presented to Shelby Lynn Oglesby from Smyrna, Tenn. for making an outstanding contribution to the University. Dr. James Barnett, Assistant Professor of Nursing in the Jeanette C. Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions received the President’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

The students who graduated in this class saw the most growth during their time at Cumberland. Over the past 4 years the university has initiated more capital projects than at any other time in the school’s 172 year history, saw record enrollment, expanded the University’s presence to Mt. Juliet, introduced and launched an online campus for non-traditional students, constructed the Learning and Career Commons at Mary White Hall, and began the transition to move its athletic program to NCAA affiliation.