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Darton ceremony planned Thursday

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- Darton College's Spring 2011 Commencement will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Cavalier Arena.

Dr. Rod Risley, executive director of Phi Theta Kappa, will give the keynote speech. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in higher education. Risley is a graduate of San Jacinto College in Texas, where he was elected Phi Theta Kappa national president in 1974. He joined the Phi Theta Kappa staff in Canton, Miss., in 1977 as director of alumni affairs. In 1985, he was elected the society's only second executive director since its founding in 1918.

Dr. Risley serves on numerous national education commissions and boards concentrating on public policy issues related to education and advancement of the humanities. He is an advocate for community colleges and their students, particularly on issues related to student engagement, college completion, and transfer to senior colleges. He completed his bachelor's degree at Sam Houston State University, his master's from Millsaps College, and doctorate from Mississippi State University.

About 345 graduates are eligible to receive an associate of science, associate of arts, associate of applied science degree, or a certificate. Following commencement, the Darton College Foundation and the Student Government Association will host a reception for the graduates and their families in the Student Center.

Twins Catherine and Richard Westerfield have made the most of their time as Darton students. Catherine runs cross country, and Richard plays soccer. They have been active in student activities - intramural sports and on trips sponsored by Darton's Servant Leadership Program. They were even crowned king and queen at the college's recent Pink Party (held by student activities on Valentine's Day to promote breast cancer awareness).

Hailing from Acworth, Catherine and Richard had not even heard of Darton College a few years ago. But after receiving some information about Darton in the mail, Catherine became interested in the new campus housing and the athletics program. She ended up accepting a cross country scholarship while Richard received a Dean's Scholar Award.

They started classes at Darton in Fall 2009, with Catherine majoring in art and Richard in business administration.

Both have really enjoyed their college experience at Darton and agree that Darton has been a good transition for them from high school. After May graduation, they plan to further their education in the fall. Catherine has a scholarship to study graphic design at SCAD-Atlanta, and Richard will head to North Georgia College and State University to major in finance or accounting.

Darton College's allied health pinning will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Cavalier Arena.

The nursing pinning ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Cavalier Arena. The guest speaker will be Dr. Joan Darden, former Darton vice president for academic affairs and former dean of nursing and allied health.

For more information about commencement and/or pinnings, call (229) 317-6709.