Catawba College celebrates 172nd commencement

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Catawba College News Service

SALISBURY — Catawba College honored 320 graduates at the 172nd Commencement Ceremony in Keppel Auditorium on Saturday.

Graduates celebrated their academic accomplishments with family, friends and the Catawba community. The ceremony honored graduates of Catawba’s five schools, including the James F. and Gerry T. Hurley School of Arts and Sciences, Ralph W. Ketner School of Business, Enoch A. and Dorothy H. Goodman School of Education, the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance and the Adrian L. Jr. and Dorothy L. Shuford School of Performing Arts.

Abigail “Abba” Willard of Archdale was the female recipient of the Whitener Award, and Ofek Malul of Rishon Lezion, Israel, was the male recipient. The Whitener Awards are the most prestigious awards distributed by the College to graduating seniors. Those awards have been presented each year since 1927 to the man and woman in the graduating class who most embody the qualities of character, leadership and scholarship. The awards are made in memory of Dr. Edgar Whitener of High Point, who served as a member of the board of trustees from 1921–1966 and as chairman of the board from 1925-1944.

Chantina Dawkins of Salisbury was awarded the Barbara Andrews Award. This medal is given to an undergraduate online student in the graduating class who embodies character, leadership and scholarship. The award was established and named in honor of Barbara Andrews of Salisbury, the program’s first director at Catawba College.

Catawba College President David P. Nelson presided over the ceremonies along with Provost Constance Rogers-Lowery. Bob Arnold, a 1971 alum and Chair of Catawba’s Board of Trustees, provided congratulatory remarks on behalf of the board.

“Some simple advice,” Nelson said. “Be curious. Be courageous. Be kind. There will be many pressures for you to travel different paths, and that includes not only what you will do but how you will do it and who you will show yourself to be in the process. We pray you will choose the more excellent way, the way of love, and that you will remain curious, courageous and kind wherever you go and whatever you do.”

The Hurley School of Arts and Sciences awarded 38 bachelor of art degrees and 40 bachelor of science degrees.

The Ketner School of Business awarded 18 bachelor of arts, 18 bachelor of business administration, 48 bachelor of science degrees and 25 master of business administration degrees.

The Goodman School of Education awarded nine bachelor of art, 20 bachelor of art in education and two bachelor of science degrees.

The School of Health Sciences and Human Performance awarded 58 bachelor of science, 12 bachelor of science in nursing, 10 master of health science in mental health counseling and 15 master of sport management degrees.

The Shuford School of Performing Arts awarded three bachelor of art degrees and four bachelor of fine art degrees.