6/27/2010 - One of Nation's Leading Chemists Tells Grads to 'Stay Current on the Passion to Learn'
By Michael J. Brooks
Family, students and friends jammed Alumnae Auditorium on the campus of Judson College in Marion on Saturday for the college's 172nd annual commencement.
Judson president Dr. David Potts presided and awarded diplomas to the graduating seniors.
Potts noted that the class of 2010 had distinguished themselves in and out of the classroom.
"These young people have demonstrated academic achievement in exemplary ways," he said. "They showed prowess on the athletic fields, and no matter the outcome of the competition, invited the opposing teams to pray with them on the field. And they've been involved in service-learning, living the motto of the college--truth and light--in this community."
Judson alumna and chemist Evelyn Ellis-Grosse served as commencement speaker. A native of Centre, Ala., she is a former corporate vice-president of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Radner, Pa. and now directs e2gBiopharmaceutical Consulting in Marietta, Ga.
Before her address, Potts bestowed an honorary doctorate on Ellis-Grosse on behalf of the college's trustees, noting her "extraordinary contributions to science and humanity."
Ellis-Grosse commended the graduates for their achievement and urged them to have open minds in their further studies and in their lives.
"With an open mind, there will always be a new frontier," she said. "When I was at Judson I never thought about drug research and global development, but I've been privileged to visit more than 25 countries and learn about their culture. Travel challenges stereotypes and most preconceptions are wrong."
Ellis-Grosse was honored by the American Chemical Society with the "Heroes of Chemistry Award" in 2006, recognizing her work in the development of Tygasil, an antimicrobial drug. She and a fellow researcher obtained two U.S. patents as inventors of Vasopressin Antagonist and Diuretic Combination in 2002 and 2003.
She urged the graduates to learn from their mistakes, and to laugh at them, illustrating with a couple of laboratory mistakes she made at the college.
"You have to fail, but your desire to succeed must be greater than your fear of failure," she said. "I encourage you to stay current on the passion to learn."
After conferring degrees, Potts presented the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Non-Student Award to alumna Ann Williamson Shumaker of Centre, immediate past president of the Judson College Alumnae Association, and the student award to Christina Rae Lee of Salem.
Tonya Elizabeth Morgan of Woodville received the J.C. Faulkner Award and Kelly Lauren Patton of Grove Hill received the Bible Award for outstanding Christian service.
Lee also won the Scholarship Award for having the highest academic average in her class-3.9 of 4.0.
Religion professor Scott Bullard was awarded the Lula and Alton Holley Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching.
* Photo caption: The graduation platform party took time for a picture before commencement. Seated are (from left) Judson music professor Dr. Betty Campbell, Dr. Evelyn Ellis-Grosse and Anne Williamson Shumaker. Standing are (from left) Judson trustee chair Charles Dunkin, the Rev. Joe Evans, pastor of the Lincoya Hills Baptist Church in Nashville and the father of graduate Emily Evans and Judson president Dr. David Potts. Photo by Bill Mathews.
*Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.