Pioneering United Way leader to deliver Transylvania commencement address

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Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

LEXINGTON, Ky.— Bill Farmer, president and CEO of United Way of the Bluegrass, will deliver Transylvania University’s commencement address on Saturday, May 27, as the 237-year-old institution celebrates its 2017 graduates.

“Community partnership is an integral part of a liberal arts education,” Transylvania President Seamus Carey said. “Mr. Farmer’s dedication to the Lexington community offers compelling evidence of how one individual can improve the lives of many. His example will remind our graduates of their responsibility to bravely tackle the challenges that lie ahead while they imagine the possibilities.”

Farmer, who is the first African American to head the United Way of the Bluegrass, has helped the organization focus on improving educational opportunities, health outcomes and financial security among struggling central Kentucky families. He is building partnerships with local businesses, universities and individual volunteers to achieve those goals through social change.

Transylvania’s commencement will begin at 9 a.m. in front of historic Old Morrison. The rain location will be the Clive M. Beck Center.

Students in this year’s graduating class have distinguished themselves academically, with numerous accolades awarded to them.

Class of 2017 highlights

• Thirty-three percent of the 215 graduating seniors are receiving Latin honors for a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5, and 40 percent are receiving program honors.

• Two of the 26 national Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society graduate fellowships were awarded to Transylvania seniors.

• Students will pursue advanced degrees at institutions such as Vanderbilt, Washington University in St. Louis and the UK College of Medicine. Other opportunities awaiting students after graduation include a job at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Washington, D.C., and a University of Cincinnati College of Law fellowship.

• Forty-five percent of this year’s graduates studied abroad while at Transylvania—either for a full term, a summer or during the four-week May term.

• The student speaker at this year’s commencement will be Alexa Quiroz, who plans to return to Transylvania after graduation as the Community Engagement AmeriCorps VISTA.

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