by Clem Boyd, Communications Content Manager
This year, 775 students received degrees during Cedarville University’s 122nd annual commencement, held May 5, in the Doden Field House.
The graduating class includes 98 students who earned a graduate degree. Cedarville’s lone doctoral program — Doctor of Pharmacy — graduated 34 students.
During commencement, 12 Faculty Scholarship Trophy honorees were recognized for achieving a 4.0 grade point average. They include: Reese Andrew Clendening, chemistry; Unix Gabriel De Castro Diza, social studies education-integrated; Kelly Samantha Fischer, social work; Ryan Knute Lokkesmoe, molecular and cellular biology; Rebecca Christine Lybarger, nursing; Michael James McDonald, economics; Abigail Rose Morgan, early child education; Carly Kay Rose, management; Audrey Sue Rutt, keyboard pedagogy; Stanley Gibson Schwartz, economics and history; Timothy Glen Smith II, computer science; and Jesse Andrew Thompson, international studies.
Receiving the President’s Trophy at this year’s commencement was Rebecca Lybarger, a nursing major from Troy, Ohio, and Stanley Schwartz, an economics and history major from Noblesville, Indiana. The President’s Trophy is the highest honor for a graduating senior. This award recognizes leadership, ministry, community and campus involvement, athletic performance and academic achievement.
Lybarger sang with OneVoice Gospel Choir and served as a discipleship leader on Discipleship Council. She has also served as a camp counselor for the Cedarville summer Nursing Academic Camp and is an active member of Nursing Honor Society. She went to the Philippines on a Global Outreach missions trip.
“I worked with Rebecca at nursing camp,” noted Dr. Angie Mickle, dean of the school of nursing. “She was amazing at connecting with the high school students and modeling the unique heart of our nursing program, nursing as a ministry for Christ.”
“To excel in nursing, an individual must have a real desire to serve others selflessly, not looking for personal recognition,” observed Aaron Cook, director of Discipleship Ministries. “This is exactly what I see in Rebecca. She quietly and consistently serves and loves others. She is a Christlike leader, a faithful friend and many are drawn to her. She has stewarded her gifts well to influence fellow young women on campus to a deeper walk with Christ.”
Schwartz served as an academic peer coach with Cedarville’s academic enrichment center, The Cove, and as a center scholar in the Center for Political Studies. He participated in the Study Abroad Oxford Summer Program and was awarded the de Jager Prize, awarded to five students for exceptional academic performance. He serves as president of Tau Delta Kappa honors organization, is a member of the Model United Nations Team and CU Outreach Team and sits on the American Enterprise Institute Executive Council.
Schwartz was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Research Grant this spring and will be studying at the Australian National University next year.
“Stanley is as fine a student as I have had the privilege to work with in my career,” said Dr. Tom Mach, vice president for academics and Schwartz’s adviser. “He is teachable, driven and willing to challenge himself. While his intellect and discipline are impressive, what stands out to me the most is Stanley’s commitment to those around him and his desire to invest in Cedarville. These attributes are an outgrowth of the seriousness with which he takes his faith in Christ.”
“Stanley is an exceptional student and a better young man,” noted Dr. Mark Smith, chair of the Cedarville history and government department. “His exceptional academic ability is not what defines him the most. His demeanor reveals the fruits of the Holy Spirit. He carries himself as a man of God.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.