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Class of 2010 Encouraged to Lead the Life More Abundant

2010 Commencement ceremony features 97-year-old William F. Quillian, Jr.

5/16/2010 12:48:10 PM


Willam F. Quillian, Jr.

LYNCHBURG – With the beauty of Randolph College’s Dell as the backdrop, Dr. William F. Quillian, Jr., president emeritus, presented the 2010 Commencement address Sunday, May 16 to 125 graduates. The 97-year-old was the keynote speaker at a special ceremony honoring Randolph College’s heritage as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.

“We treasure the heritage of R-MWC and look forward optimistically to the bright future at our beloved college,” said Lucy Hooper, board president, in a special statement from the Board of Trustees to the graduates. “We trust that you will join us in helping to develop that future. As we ourselves discovered, the lifelong bonds created by your time here are unique and are destined to be invaluable to you, even as you go your separate ways. We are glad that you were here, enriching this campus and leaving your own footprints on our history. When you return to visit, you will always be welcome, and we know you will always find the College vibrant, refreshing, and much the same. Even though faces will change, the spirit of this special place will live on.”

John E. Klein, president of Randolph College, applauded graduates for their hard work and perseverance.

“Our Nobel Prize winning alumna, Pearl S. Buck, from the Class of 1914, once wrote, ‘If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday,’” he said. “You are who you are today because of the experiences you have had throughout your life. This College is no different. Our history as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College is vital to our future, and it is a part of this College that will always be cherished and remembered. As the last class to enter Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, you are a meaningful part of that history. And as you carry a piece of the spirit of this place with you into the world, you are also a part of our future.”

The Class of 2010 represents 25 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, from 10 countries including Afghanistan, Jamaica, Nepal, China, India, Ghana, Russian and the Netherlands. Graduates will leave the College for destinations across the country—and the world—for jobs, internships, and graduate school. Students have been accepted into prestigious graduate schools such as Duke, Emerson, Yale, and the Pratt Institute. Six of the graduates earned master’s degrees.

Kelly Dickinson '10 and Kandyce Korotky '10 each received a Maude Huff Fife Award, an award given given each year to the senior or seniors with the highest cumulative quality point ratio.

Quillian served as the fifth president of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and is the longest serving president. His tenure lasted from 1952 until his retirement in 1978. He received president emeritus status upon his retirement in 1978. Quillian, who is 97 years old, is an active member of the Lynchburg community. A graduate of Emory University and Yale University, he earned his doctorate from Yale. He also attended the University of Edinburgh and the University of Basel for post graduate work. A retired bank trustee officer, Quillian is also a co-creator and past executive director of the Greater Lynchburg Community Trust and an honorary life trustee of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.

Nearly 60 years since he first arrived on campus to begin what would be 28-year tenure as president, Quillian recalled his decision to move from teaching to college administration. “…the considerations and values which led me to accept the presidency of this College are basically the same as those which made my experience as a teacher so satisfying,” he said. “This is the conviction that there are outcomes in the lives of persons of the kind of liberal education to which this institution is dedicated which are essential for the greatest personal satisfaction of an individual and also for the greater good of mankind.”

Quillian encouraged graduates to follow in the footsteps of the thousands of graduates who have come before them.

“I saw in this College a treasure made possible by the vision, the work and the support of many,” he said. “I saw an opportunity to build upon that treasure and, hopefully, to enhance it. You graduates likewise have come to a place made possible by that vision, that work, and the sacrifices of many—a place where many before you have experienced vita abundantior.

“This College is yours,” he said. “Love it and support it so that many after you may also experience vita abundantior--the life more abundant.”

For the full text of Dr. Quillian's speech, please see ...

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations