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WILMORE, KY—Temperatures in the mid-50s and ominous clouds couldn’t suppress the excitement and pure joy of the 298 Asbury College graduates and their families and friends.

Traditionally held on Mother’s Day every year, Dr. Paul A. Rader ’56 acknowledged all the mothers, fathers, grandparents, and other family and friends who turned out to celebrate and commemorate this special occasion held May 14 at 3 p.m. in the Luce Center.

grad06.jpgConcluding his tenure as the 15th president of Asbury College, Dr. Rader addressed the class of 2006 during commencement. He reminded the new graduates—while they may have learned a lot, developed important relationships, had fun and been challenged throughout their years at Asbury College—to “just wait” for what God has in store for them next.

The class of 2006 included 279 undergraduates and 19 graduate students. Among the bachelor’s degree candidates, five students earned Summa Cum Laude (3.97-4.00 GPA), 40 earned Magna Cum Laude (3.80-3.96 GPA) and 73 earned Cum Laude (3.50-3.79 GPA) honors.

Steve L. Rumford, president and chief executive officer of the Methodist Home for Children and Youth in Macon, Georgia, was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Christian Ministries. Rumford has been elected to a two-year term as chair of the Board of the United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries, which represents nearly 400 ministries in health and welfare in connection with the United Methodist Church.

Senior Class President Lucas Speakman announced that the Steadfast Class’s senior gift would be to fund repairs to the seats in Hughes Auditorium. Speakman estimated that each senior spent 300 hours seated in Hughes during his or her four years.

President Rader also took a moment to recognize the careers of Dr. Ray Whiteman, provost, and Mrs. Jean Whiteman, instructor of English, who will retire this year.

The youngest “graduate” participating this year was 5-month old Jonathan Ensign, properly dressed in a black cap and gown, who accompanied his parents, graduates Christian and Amanda Ensign, across the stage.