Cumberland Celebrates Largest Graduating Class in 178-Year History

Cumberland University hosted its 178th Commencement Ceremony, celebrating the largest graduating class in school history in a graduate-only ceremony on Sat., June 20.

The 2019-2020 academic year began with the school’s largest total enrollment and concluded with a Commencement Ceremony honoring 615 graduates, the largest number in the university’s 178 year history.

Only graduates were allowed to attend the ceremony, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and were seated six feet apart on the Memorial Hall Lawn. Family members, friends, classmates, faculty and staff were able to cheer graduates on from home via a video livestream.

“This year has been challenging for many, especially the class of 2020,” said University President Dr. Paul Stumb. “Although this was not the commencement ceremony that we hoped to give our graduates, it does not take away from the tremendous accomplishment of earning a college degree. I am extremely proud to welcome all 615 graduates to the Cumberland Alumni family.” 

The processional included Cumberland Professor of Education Dr. Charles Collier as the macebearer, followed by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. C. William McKee opening the 178th commencement assembly. The invocation was led by the City of Mt. Juliet Chief of Police Dr. James Hambrick and Lain Tomlinson and Lauren Gregory sang the “Star Spangled Banner” accompanied by James Jordan.

Cumberland University President Dr. Paul Stumb welcomed the graduates and congratulated them on their hard work and dedication that led to their success. Cumberland Board of Trust Chairman W.P. Bone, III; Faculty Senate President and Assistant Professor of Art Dr. Peg Fredi and Student Government President Kayla Sanders all spoke words of congratulations and encouragement to the graduates. 

After the conferral of earned degrees, those in attendance sang the Cumberland University alma mater. The benediction came from University Chaplain Mike Ripski and concluded the ceremony. 

For more information on Cumberland’s 2020 Commencement Ceremony, visit

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