During the first weekend in May, Cumberland University honored 741 students from its largest graduating class in university history. On Friday, May 5, 115 graduate students were hooded as they accepted their Master’s degrees during a ceremony held in the Dallas Floyd Phoenix Arena on Cumberland’s campus. The following day, 383 undergraduate students, including 16 Early College students earning their Associate degrees, walked across the stage to receive their diplomas during a ceremony with approximately 4,000 people in attendance.
The university originally intended for the Class of 2023 to be the first graduates to walk across the newly renovated Memorial Hall front entrance; however, due to rain and the large number of graduates and their families, the undergraduate ceremony was held at the Farm Bureau Expo Center at the Wilson County Fairgrounds for the first time.
“It is our great privilege to honor each of the 741 graduates as they celebrate the fruits of their labor,” said University President Paul C. Stumb. “Our university continues to attract and matriculate impressive, caring students who are eager to make a difference. We wish them the very best as their journeys advance beyond Cumberland and they become leaders in their communities.”
Graduates and alumni were recognized for community leadership, civic engagement and commitment to university values during the awards portion of the commencement ceremony. All of the award recipients can be found here.
During both the Friday and Saturday ceremonies, the graduates offered their first philanthropic contribution to their Alma Mater as they participated in the university’s annual coin tradition, sponsored by Cedarstone Bank and Wilson Bank and Trust. As each graduate gave their first official gift to the Pay It Forward Scholarship, they supported the success of future students who will call Cumberland home. This year, over 92% of graduates participated in alumni giving through the coin tradition.
“Our active alumni base of over 8,000 continues to grow significantly each year, along with our alumni involvement through networking events, book club, and the CU Alumni Association Board,” said Alumni Relations Coordinator Caroline Haynes. “I am thrilled to honor our current alumni in their endeavors while welcoming more graduates into the Cumberland University Alumni Association.”
To learn more about staying connected with Cumberland, visit https://www.cumberland.edu/alumni/.
A photo album from the graduate and undergraduate ceremonies can be found here.