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Lees-McRae College Sent Off Largest Class in History of 334 Students on May 6

BANNER ELK, N.C. — Lees-McRae College awarded 334 degrees, an 83-graduate increase over 2016 and the largest number in College history, during the two Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 6, 2017.

Accounting for 158 of the total 334 graduates, main campus students alongside their family and friends gathered in Hayes Auditorium at 10 a.m. Online and extended campus students, totaling 176 graduates, crossed the stage at 2 p.m.

Dr. Todd Lidh, provost, presented Mark Reed, head of school at Charlotte Country Day School, with an honorary Doctorate of Education.

During both ceremonies, Reed presented his speech titled, “The Honor of Failure.”

Reed said that if students recall only one thing regarding his speech, it is to remember that, “failure and how you honor it will define your existence far more than any success you may experience…step into the arena, spend yourself on something that seems to be impossible…now go out and change your world so it can collectively change our world for the better.”

Two graduates were honored with the H.C. Evans, Jr. Fidelity Award. Named after the ninth president of Lees-McRae College, the Fidelity Award recognizes academic excellence, campus citizenship, friendliness and service to the College and community. The main campus award was presented to English honors graduate Morgan Corbett and the online and extended campus award was presented to nursing honors graduate Andrea Rector.