Judson College held its 183rd commencement on April 30, 2021. Families and friends of graduates gathered for the college’s second outdoor commencement ceremony on the front lawn of Jewett Hall.
Forty-one graduates received degrees after successfully completing requirements for Associate Degrees in Nursing and Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Social Work degrees.
The graduates’ procession began with the ringing of the College’s cherished Triangle, a symbol whose history dates back to the 19th century when students were called to begin a new day with its unmistakable sound. Senior Class President Elaina Johnson of Clanton, Ala., led the procession with the Triangle. This tradition was begun at the 2019 Commencement to signify the new beginnings ahead of each graduate.
Rev. John Nicholson addresses graduates
The commencement speaker was Rev. John Nicholson, pastor of Siloam Baptist Church in Marion. Nicholson was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Judson “in recognition of his service to the cause of Christ”.
“Members of Siloam Baptist Church founded Judson College in 1838 and nurtured Judson in its early days,” Nicholson said. “I’m awestruck when I consider what has grown from the seeds which faithful men and women planted in 1838. We at Siloam share the legacy left to us by those with names like Jewett, King, Barron, and Kirtley. Not only do we share their legacy, we also share the confident hope which gave their faith shape and substance in the existence of Judson College.”
Nicholson exhorted graduates to “live as Sunday people in a Monday world” and “live as evening people in a morning world”–or to live in mindfulness, grace, and rest in God.
“Life is not a race to the next big thing; rather, it’s a gift that should be cherished and embraced as fully as possible,” Nicholson told graduates. “Your life is a vocation, a calling, a partnership with the God who has placed His indelible stamp upon your life. Your life is not a career–some reckless unending race that’s run at breakneck speed for as long as you can possibly endure. Your life is a saunter, treading holy ground, knowing that God has not instructed you to run ahead of Him; rather, He has invited you to follow after Him. You can’t follow faster than He is leading.”
Find more photos at https://judsoncollege.smugmug.com/Judson-College-2021-Commencement/.
Commencement Awards and Degrees
Four special alumnae awards were given by the Judson College Alumnae Association (JCAA). JCAA Awards Committee members Claire Kinnaird Keel, Freda Spradley York, and Rhonda Caver Lewis presented the awards to the 2020 and 2021 Outstanding Alumna Award and Alumnae Loyalty Award recipients.
The Alumna Loyalty Award is given annually to an alumna who has distinguished herself through her continued expressions of affection, commitment, and service to the College and her programs. The 2020 Alumna Loyalty Award recipient was Charlotte Shepherd Clements ‘77, Vice President of Admissions and Financial Aid. Carole Heath Jones ‘72 received the 2021 Alumnae Loyalty Award.
The Outstanding Alumna Award is presented each year to a Judson alumna who has achieved local, state, and/or national prominence in her chosen field. The recipient must display qualities in her life that exemplify the Judson Code, so that, through her vocational calling, the recipient brings distinction to Judson College. Frances Dobyne Ford ‘77, executive Director of Sowing Seeds of Hope, was the 2020 Outstanding Alumna. Elizabeth Crabtree Wells ‘70, historian, author, and archivist, received the 2021 Outstanding Alumna Award.
Mr. Josh Pickens, Assistant Professor of Art and Head of the Art Department, received the Lula and Alton Holley Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching, an annual faculty award determined by vote of graduating seniors. The award was established in 1982 by Howard and Martha Holley and Mildred and Annie Ruby Holley to recognize excellence in classroom teaching at Judson.
Dr. Ray H. Price, Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the Sciences Division, received the Non-Student Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, an award established to recognize “distinct virtues of heart, mind, and conduct that are practically applied to daily living and demonstrated in a spirit of love for and helpfulness to others.” Price, who served on the Judson College faculty for thirty-six years, dedicated his professional career to his students, demonstrating a commitment to excellence and fostering a caring and professional environment in his classes and after-hours math study sessions.
Several special student awards were presented to the following:
Susanna Fowler, mathematics major from Americus, Ga., received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Student Award, in recognition for her “nobility of character as expressed through spiritual qualities in daily living”.
Kassidy Giles, art and English major from Gilbertown, Ala., received the J.C. Faulkner Award, given to honor an “outstanding student and…enthusiastic supporter of Judson College.”
Jessica Knowles, biology (Pre-Physical Therapy) major from Perry, Fla., received the Bible Award, an annual award presented to the graduate exhibiting the most “outstanding Christian spirit” and rendering “Christian service to her college” during her tenure as a Judson student.
Two graduates received Scholarship Awards, presented to seniors with excellent academic records at Judson. Award recipients, who maintained 4.0 grade point averages throughout their time at Judson, were Jessica Chandler Pairrett of Plantersville, Ala., and Emma Carter of Rossville, Ga.
Graduates by degrees and hometowns, including honors earned, are as follows:
Associate Degree in Nursing
Brent, Ala. – Hilary Hallman
Northport, Ala. – Marie Washington
Bachelor of Arts
Adamsville, Ala. – Alexis Burt
Athens, Ala. – Lela Ament Ball, summa cum laude
Atmore, Ala. – Laura Grace Terry, summa cum laude, Degree with Distinction in English, Thesis: The Great Conspiracy: Conrad, Anti-Colonialism, and the Ivory Cult
Birmingham, Ala. – LaShundra Walker
Century, Fla. – Tawana Marla Bernadette Jones
Columbus, Miss. – Camry Antioniece Sturdivant
Gilbertown, Ala. – Kassidy Nicole Giles, magna cum laude
Gilbertown, Ala. – Paige Sierra Mason, cum laude
Maplesville, Ala. – Sha’Kea Antionette Mitchell
Robertsdale, Ala. – Ashlee Caroline Kendrick
Selma, Ala. – Anna Magdalene Reynolds, summa cum laude, Degree with Distinction in Religious Studies and Psychology, Thesis: Created for Community: A Theological and Psychological Evaluation of Loneliness
Bachelor of Science
Americus, Ga. – Susanna Joy Fowler, summa cum laude
Birmingham, Ala. – Kaylen Ashley Holtzapfel, cum laude
Calera, Ala. – Chelsea Joy Leachman
Dothan, Ala. – Jyasmine Anise Torres, cum laude, Degree with Distinction in Biology, Thesis: Controlling Universal Chaos: A Comparison of Internal and External Musical Therapy Effects on the Human Mind, with a Focus on Victims of Major Depressive Disorder
Daphne, Ala. – Jasmine Curlee Sanders, magna cum laude
Dothan, Ala. – Kama Grace Clay
Grand Bay, Ala. – Haley Elizabeth Patteson
Helena, Ala. – Samantha Meagan Pearce, summa cum laude
Marion, Ala. – Earnestine Rawls
Marion, Ala. – Ashley Lafaye Washington
Montgomery, Ala. – SarahDiane Elizabeth Moody, cum laude
Montgomery, Ala. – Ti-Ara Turner, summa cum laude, Degree with Distinction in Biology, Thesis: Testing Oyster Shell as a Proxy for Tissue to Detect Trace Metal Pollution
Northport, Ala. – Madilyn Hope Peters, magna cum laude
Orange Beach, Ala. – Savanah Knight Townley, magna cum laude, Degree with Distinction in Biology and Chemistry, Thesis: Investigating the Connections between Parkinson’s Disease and the Gut Microbiome
Orange Beach, Ala. – Zoe Marie Townley, summa cum laude
Pensacola, Fla. – KenDauria Zontrique Nykala Brooks
Pensacola, Fla. – Korvauria Shontrique Mykala Brooks
Perry, Fla. – Jessica Brooke Knowles, magna cum laude
Plantersville, Ala. – Brittnie L. Myers
Plantersville, Ala. – Jessica Chandler Pairrett
Remlap, Ala. – Morgan Nichole Rittenhouse, cum laude
Remlap, Ala. – Hannah Brooke Callahan
Rossville, Ga. – Emma Elizabeth Carter, summa cum laude
Salem, Ala. – Victoria Ann Smith, magna cum laude
Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. – Katherine C. Yerby
Selma, Ala. – McKenzie Clay Horton, cum laude
Bachelor of Social Work
Uriah, Ala. – Kaitlyn Michaella Richerson
West Blocton, Ala. – Rebecca Carver