For Randolphs, Commencement is a Family Affair

by Mark Weinstein, Executive Director of Public Relations

Commencement season has arrived in the Miami Valley, filling calendars of many supportive families and friends. The season will be especially busy for one local family as three generations from the William Randolph family will receive college diplomas in May.

Randolph, sergeant of Cedarville University’s campus safety department and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Yellow Springs, Ohio, will celebrate with his wife, Florence; daughter, Tasha Goodwin-Randolph; and grandson, Kyle Bristol at their respective ceremonies. All of the commencement programs will be special, but for Randolph, there’s something extra special about seeing his wife become the first sibling of five in her family to walk across a college stage to receive the coveted diploma.

And, if Florence has any influence in her educational goals, it won’t be her last commencement. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in social work on Saturday, May 4, from Cedarville University, Florence plans to pursue a master’s degree in the same academic discipline.

But for now, Florence is happy to be a part of the 650-member graduating class at Cedarville University.

Her journey toward her degree started shortly after she retired from Our Own Image, a division of the Antioch Company. Florence had a passion for helping people but she realized that few career opportunities existed without a college degree.

“I never imagined returning to school after retirement, but I’ve enjoyed the process and the learning,” she said. “I have always wanted to be in this [social work] profession because of the opportunities it affords to help others. When the door was open for me to study at Cedarville, I walked through it and have been blessed.”

Perhaps the biggest challenge for Florence now is not getting her degree, but making it back to Cedarville in time for commencement. The day before, Friday, May 3, her daughter, Tasha, earns her doctoral degree in audiology from Indiana University. The Randolphs will make the trip to Bloomington, Ind., and plan to arrive back home in time for Cedarville’s commencement.

Then later in the month, on May 25, the family will make another trip to Indiana for the commencement of their grandson, Bristol, from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. His degree is in mechanical engineering.

“I am very proud of my family and their accomplishments,” said William Randolph. “It’s certainly a busy time for us with three commencements so close to each other, but it’s a joy any family would embrace.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Inspiring greatness for over 125 years, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at