LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania University awarded 238 bachelor of arts degrees on the steps of historic Old Morrison Saturday morning. Family and friends watched from the bright spring lawn as President Charles L. Shearer presented the degrees to the class that included a Fulbright Scholar, political science major Brian Epling, who has been awarded a prestigious English Teaching Assistantship in Korea.
Co-founder and chairman emeritus of Humana Inc, David A. Jones, delivered the Commencement address and spoke about the characteristics necessary for success. “Integrity, teamwork, clarity of purpose, high expectations and clear communication are the vital traits that will lead to high achievement,” he said.
He told the graduates that life holds many joys for those who seek them. “Through friendship, shared effort, helping others, through unselfish love—all these paths lead to great joy, and it is my wish that each of you will follow these paths on your journey.”
The well-known entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic leader told the graduates, “You’re going to expand and put to exciting uses the base of knowledge and understanding developed here. You will undertake the necessary and often difficult tasks required of you and earn the joy of accomplishment.”
He urged the graduating class to consider, “Who are you and where are you going?” a question this class has already considered.
Sixty-five percent of this graduating class studied abroad while at Transy, including Mark A. Rouse, a history major from Lexington, who spoke during commencement on behalf of the students. Rouse urged his classmates to look to the future rather than clinging to the past.
“We can build on our experiences from the past but if we dwell on those experiences we will not be able to experience life to its fullest,” he said, and he offered this advice, “Whatever you do in your life, love it.”
During the ceremony, Jones was presented with the President’s Award in recognition of extraordinary contributions of service and support to Transylvania. In 1981, he was awarded an honorary degree by Transylvania and received the Transylvania Medal in 1994 for outstanding service in promoting the interests of the University. Jones is a founding member of the Bingham Board of Trust, which oversees the Bingham Awards for Excellence in Teaching program. Along with his wife, Betty, he helped to endow the David and Betty Jones Fund for Faculty Development in 1990. He and his family have supported virtually every major Transylvania program over the years, including capital campaigns and such initiatives as the William T. Young Scholars program, the William T. Young Campus Center and other major projects.
Jones is one of Louisville’s most active civic leaders. With backing from the Humana Foundation, the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theater of Louisville has become a premiere national event for showcasing new theatrical talent. He recently made a major commitment of time and recourses to the City of Parks, a long-term project to expand and connect Louisville’s extensive park system.