Elizabethtown College’s 107th annual Commencement recognizes more than 500 studentsMay 22nd, 2010 | By Mike Schwartz | Category: Lead Article, News
(from Elizabethtown College)
Speaker Michael Lomax encourages graduates to “not just make a life, but to make a difference”
On May 22, Elizabethtown College recognized the accomplishments of 513 students during its 107th annual Commencement. The ceremony—which took place in The Dell, the lawn in front of the College’s historic Alpha Hall—was highlighted by remarks from Michael Lomax, president and chief executive officer of UNCF, the United Negro College Fund.
During his address, Lomax remembered his own 1968 graduation from Morehouse College, just one month after public funeral services for slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. were held on the campus. He noted that the juxtaposition of the two very different ceremonies, held only a few weeks apart, forced personal reflection about the legacy Lomax would leave. “I still stand on the shoulders of giants,” he said, pointing to those like King who have had an impact on his life. “Being the descendent of giants is an inspiration … and a great challenge.”
Lomax encouraged the class “not just to make a life, but to make a difference.” “What will you do to benefit the generation after yours … and the generation before yours?” he asked of the most recent graduating class of an institution that has “Educate for Service” as its motto. “My generation has had its era,” he said. “We baby boomers have left a lot for you to do.”
From his vantage point as the leader of the nation’s largest and most successful minority higher education assistance organization, Lomax stated that a lasting love of learning is key to a productive life. “In the old days, education was something that was done when you were young,” he said. “Today, it is a lifelong pursuit.”
Lomax has had a notable career in higher education and public service. Prior to joining UNCF, he served seven years as president of Dillard University. He also spent 30 years pursuing simultaneous full-time positions as a university professor and public servant in Atlanta, Ga. Lomax taught literature at Morehouse and Spelman colleges and the University of Georgia. In addition, he was a prominent figure in Atlanta government and politics. In recognition of Lomax’s contributions to higher education and to the lives of thousands of students, Elizabethtown presented Lomax with an honorary degree.
In addition, Elizabethtown College Board of Trustees Chair David Hosler, CPCU, also was recognized with an honorary degree. Hosler—who graduated from Elizabethtown in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration—accepted the call to serve his alma mater as a member of its Board of Trustees in 1995. Since his election as chair of the Board in 2003, he has worked with the College’s administration to launch a series of initiatives that have improved the quality of the institution’s faculty, its long-term financial health, and its academic and co-curricular facilities. Hosler is chief operating officer for Murray Risk Management and Insurance and serves his community as a member of the boards of PNC Bank (Central Pennsylvania Region Advisory Board), Housing Development Corporation, Parish Resource Center, Rotary Club of Lancaster, United Way of Lancaster County and CPCU Society – Pennsylvania Dutch Chapter.
In addition to recognizing current Elizabethtown students, the ceremony also offered 23 members the College’s Class of 1960 an opportunity to recall their own graduation 50 years before. The alumni processed along with this year’s class and were presented with a commemorative gold medallion celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation from the College.