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Blackburn College celebrates 2022 Commencement

Dr. James Bray, with the College Mace, led the ceremony’s processional, followed by two students carrying the Banner of the Blackburn College Seal and the American Flag. Enquirer~Democrat photo by Erin Sanson.


Enquirer~Democrat Reporter

Blackburn College celebrated its 153rd graduating class on Sat. May, 14.

Dr. James Bray, College Marshal, led the procession of Graduates and faculty through Hudson Quad. Bray, as the College Marshal, led the procession with the Mace in hand.

He was followed by a student carrying the Blackburn Flag and another carrying the American Flag for the ceremony. Student Marshal, Zachary Wieland lead the graduating students in their caps and gowns through the middle of the Quad.

The choir followed the graduates out. Afterwards the Faculty, administrative officers, and Trustees paraded throughout the ceremony. Finally President Dr. Mark Biermann led the procession the stage and the students to their seats.

Biermann gave the welcome speech and introduction. The commencement address was given by Tom Gayner, the co-CEO of Markel Corporation. Gayner’s father was a Blackburn Graduate with the Class of 1938, Gayner grew to know of Blackburn through his father.

Dr. Karla McCain presented academic awards to the graduating students.

Emily Fleck was awarded the Bierd Senior Honor Prize for the senior whose academic average for the four-year period is the highest in the graduating class. She was also awarded the Baird-Zieglar Prize for the highest academic average in social science courses.

Jenalyn Reyes was awarded the humanities prize for the highest academic average for humanities courses throughout their four years at Blackburn.

Courtney Ohlrogge was awarded the Wray Business administration Award. The award recognizes the graduate majoring in Business Administration and who has achieved the highest overall academic average, made a significant contribution to the work program and who participated in the social, cultural and extracurricular life of Blackburn.

The Allsion Economics prize was awarded to Callista Francis for having the highest academic average in economics.

Quentin Parmenter was awarded the Samuals-Werner Biology prize for being the graduating biology major with the highest academic average in the class.

The Computer Science Prize was awarded to Kenneth Schaad as the graduating senior with the greatest aptitude in the computer science field.

Zachary Wieland was awarded the Virgil G. Bretthauer Mathematics Award as the graduating senior majoring in mathematics with the highest academic average.

Blake Meyer was awarded the Political Science Prize for being the graduating majoring in political science or public administration with the highest academic average.

The Stoddard prize, which recognizes the graduate for excellence in the study of language and literature of England and America was awarded to Emma Hall.

Avery Dugan was awarded the Asbury Journalism prize for the graduate who demonstrates excellence in the field of journalism.

The Anna Deschu prize in Elementary Education was awarded to Brianna Milich. The Dechu Prize recognizes the graduate majoring in Elementary education who has achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and best exemplifies the qualities of professionalism in education.

Tim Marston was awarded the Senators Vince and Deanna Demuzio Award in Education. This award recognize the graduate majoring in education, recognizing leadership, the ability to be a successful teacher, excellent communication skills, and the ability to mentor others.

Bake Meyer was awarded the Senators Vince and Deanna Demuzio Award in Leadership Studies. That award recognizes the graduate majoring in political science or the leadership program who demonstrates strong leadership potential, has mentored others, and has strong spoken and written communication skills.

Blake Meyer and Brianna Milich were the recipients chosen by the Blackburn Alumni Association Board of directors for the 2022 Outstanding Graduate Award.

Once the awards were presented, Biermann and McCain distributed the Graduates’ diplomas. The choir performed once again and ceremony ended with the procession retiring to “Pomp and Circumstance.”