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Honorary doctorates awarded to Garrison, Pike at LWC Winter Commencement
At ceremonies on Saturday, Lindsey Wilson College awarded an honorary doctorate to James J. Pike and posthumously, to local businessman and LWC trustee Robert Lewis Garrison, who passed away suddenly in November. 196 undergraduate degrees and 144 graduate degrees were awarded.
By Venus Popplewell
Members of the first half of the Lindsey Wilson College Class of 2017-18 were told Saturday morning to go forward with a "glass half-full" attitude because a positive perspective will shape the way they lead and adapt to change.
Those were the words 45-year automotive industry veteran and LWC trustee James J. Pike delivered at the college's 106th commencement ceremony, held Saturday morning in Biggers Sports Center.
Lindsey Wilson awarded 340 degrees at this year's winter commencement - 196 undergraduate degrees and 144 graduate degrees. The winter class also included LWC's first graduates from the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.
To put the size of this winter's graduating class in perspective, LWC awarded 321 degrees in 2003-04, the last year the college held only one commencement ceremony.
Also on Saturday, LWC awarded an honorary doctorate to Pike and posthumously, to local businessman and LWC trustee Robert Lewis Garrison who passed away suddenly in November.
Pike, who attended LWC in 1965, is one of the most distinguished alums in the 114-year history of the college. He has managed more than 15 companies - 10 of which he served as CEO. A specialist in operations, marketing, acquisitions and finance, he has spent most of his career transforming struggling companies into profitable enterprises.
Garrison was a local entrepreneur who proudly served his community as a civic leader and employer. An Adair County native, he served more than three decades as an LWC trustee where he was a key member of the buildings and grounds committee during the most expansive period of growth in the college's history.
"Change is the biggest challenge we have," said Pike at Saturday's ceremony. "You'll encounter change in industry, change in people, change in your careers -- but now you have the opportunity to manage that change."
Pike noted that by earning a degree these graduates will carry with them a "suitcase of knowledge."
"Smartphones give nearly everyone in the world access to world-class knowledge," said Pike. "You'll need to keep adding to your suitcase, carry it with you and open it when you need it."
Pike also noted the importance of having a positive perspective.
"We were always looking for people in my companies with a "glass half-full" outlook," said Pike. "It was the people with a positive perspective that made the best leaders."
"Everyone has leadership qualities. You may not be using it yet but it is within you. Expand, grow and nurture your leadership potential because you will use it forever - in your family, business, community and faith. And you have taken the first step today by becoming a college graduate."
This story was posted on 2017-12-12 09:03:06
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