Cumberland University


Cumberland University sends graduates into the real world


The weather was perfect for the 173rd Commencement ceremony held this past Saturday on the Front Lawn of Memorial Hall at Cumberland University. For some students it took four years, for others it may have taken five or so, but for all it was a bittersweet conclusion to their time at Cumberland University. Graduates hugged, cried and cheered as they received their diplomas and prepared to enter into the “real world” and begin their careers.

“This feels outstanding! I am so happy this day has finally arrived,” said Josh McCausland, an Art and Design Major from Cincinnati, OH. “I feel like I am prepared to tackle whatever comes my way. I will miss Cumberland very much but I am ready to begin my career.”

Presiding over his final commencement as President, Dr. Harvill Eaton expressed his gratitude to the students and wished them the best as they began their lives after college, “My simple words to you are go and be successful in your journey. Live your life fully, with meaning and with integrity.”  

This year’s ceremony was Eaton’s 12th since becoming the 25th president in 2004.

Mr. Bob McDonald, Chairman of the Cumberland Board of Trust and President and CEO of CedarStone Bank, honored Dr. and Mrs. Eaton for their contributions and dedication to the University and community.

The Mace Bearers for the ceremony were three faculty members who received their doctoral degrees during the past year – Drs. Joy Kimbrell, Rhonda Landers, Danny Bryan.

‚ÄčThe President’s Award was presented to the graduate who embodies the ideals, principles and spirit of Cumberland. This year’s awardee was Mt. Juliet Criminal Justice major Skylar Stone.

Josh McCausland, an Art and Design Major from Cincinnati, OH, received the Community Service Award because of his many contributions to the University.

The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award is presented each year to students and community members who exhibit the ideals of heart, mind, and conduct and a spirit of love for and helpfulness to other men and women. This year’s student recipient was Karli Collins, an Athletic Training and Health and Human Performance Major from Tarpon, FL. The community recipients of the award were Mr. and Mrs. Bob and Pam Black of Lebanon.

The President’s Award for Teaching Excellence was presented to Dr. Danny Bryan, Assistant Professor of Biology.

In all 514 students graduated from Cumberland University with 392 participating in the Commencement ceremony on Saturday. There were about 3,700 guests in attendance.