#MBUfamily Celebrates Commencement 2022

Hundreds of #MBUfamily members packed the hillside and walkways surrounding Page Terrace on Sunday, May 15, to celebrate the 320-plus members of 2022’s baccalaureate class. 

The ceremony was the second of the weekend — 275 graduate-level students were honored at the Augusta Expo center on Saturday — and held special significance as the university’s largest unrestricted gathering since the pandemic began in 2020. 

“Class of 2022, you have endured and excelled despite the unprecedented uncertainty thrust upon us by the pandemic,” said Mary Baldwin President Pamela R. Fox in her opening remarks. “There was no script for the pivots you navigated … in the midst of a global health crisis, pressing issues of social justice, and chaos on many other levels. Thank you for the courage you have shown: You have paved the way to your future; you are paving the way to our future.”

Hundreds of #MBUfamily members packed the hillside and walkways surrounding Page Terrace to celebrate the 320-plus member undergraduate Class of 2022 on Sunday, May 15. Two-hundred-seventy-five graduate-level students were honored on Saturday at the Augusta Expo center.

“Thank you for the courage you have shown: You have paved the way to your future; you are paving the way to our future.”

President Pamela R. Fox

Fox expressed feelings of joy and gratitude about the Mary Baldwin family being able to once again come together in person for Commencement. She took time at each ceremony to acknowledge the role of friends, family, faculty, and staff in supporting students throughout their college journey — and was met with ovations from soon-to-be graduates. 

Follow-up speakers focused on the remarkable grit and determination shown by learners.  

“I ask you to harken back to the first thing that happened on your very first day of [college classes]: You were marked present,” Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Dr. Paul Menzer told graduate students on Saturday. Praise for such a simple accomplishment would have then seemed absurd. “But today, your presence marks a significant achievement.”   

Board of Trustees chair Gabrielle McCree ’83 echoed Menzer in early commendations. She then steered reflections toward the future. 

“I am confident you will be able to keep learning, adapting, and growing throughout your careers,” she said. “You will go forth to embody [Mary Baldwin’s] mission of inclusive and empowered leaders prepared to create meaningful change. Our complicated world depends on you, and it makes me hopeful and proud to be with you.

The 180th Commencement was the largest in-person gathering at MBU since the pandemic began in 2020.

Awards for exemplary students were presented in both locations. (See below for a complete list of recipients.) 

For instance, nearly 60 undergraduates made the Senior Honors List, and eight were initiated into MBU’s Lambda of Virginia Phi Beta Kappa Society. A pair of surprises came soon thereafter. 

First, the Martha Stackhouse Grafton Award, which honors the senior with the highest grade point average, was split between Katherine Keegan and Christine Mahoney, both of whom earned perfect 4.0s. Next the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award — widely regarded as the university’s top undergraduate honor — was presented to co-winners India McCoy and Kaitlyn Savage. Recipients of the latter also won accompanying Mary Keith Fitzroy cash awards.

McCree addressed students after they’d received their degrees. She congratulated their achievements, officially welcomed them as the newest members of a long line of prestigious Mary Baldwin alumni, and concluded with a challenge and salutation. 

“Your MBU education has taught you to be critical and creative thinkers, and you have developed specific professional and life skills for your journey ahead,” McCree said. “These experiences have made you more resilient, flexible in your evolution, and determined to succeed. I am confident you will be trailblazers and leaders throughout your careers.”

Students, family, friends, faculty, staff, and #MBUfamily members all came together to celebrate the Class of 2022.


Faculty Award:

Algernon Sydney Sullivan Non-Student Award

Dr. Ralph Alan Cohen, professor of English and Shakespeare and Performance

Undergraduate Awards:

College of Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award

Jacob Desruisseaux, applied behavior analysis

MBU Online Outstanding Graduate Award

Anna Jarvis, applied behavior analysis

MBU Online Legacy Award

Summer Woodard, international studies and elementary education

Phi Beta Kappa Inductees

Corrina Hunter, Katherine Keegan, McKenna Mollner, Quinland Musgrove, Rose-Marie Thompson, Kristi Walsh, Tamera Skye Phinizy

Senior Honors List

Brandon Able, Joyel Kinnidi Allen, Brittany  Amador, Kasie Hawani Banks, Anitra Charvet’ Beverly, Desirae L. Bowers, Brionny Jade Brown, Everett L. Butler, Leah Catherine Calhoun, Alexis Taylor Clark, Josie Danielle Collier, Leidiana  Delgado, Emily B. Dillon, Diana Lee Filipi, Sarah Grace Gentry, Diana Elizabeth Goad, Kelly Lynn Graves, Hayley Marie Greer, Elena K. Guy, Kahli  Harman, Sofia Mae Haugsdahl, Morgan Taylor Hughes, Katherine Keegan, Nathalie Lafontant, Na’imah Taliah Land, Carolyn Ruth Landis, Grace Larmour, Emil Ljubovic, Kristin Lurie, Christine L. Mahoney, Benjamin Brent Marshall, Jacqueline Savannah Mcbean, Mary Katherine Moran, Rachel Elaine Morgan, Quinland E. Musgrove, Kayla Nicole Neff, Maggie Childs Olshove, Varonica M. Payne, Avera Elizabeth Pearson, Tiffany D. Perrine, Tamera Skye Phinizy, Hannah Danielle Porterfield, John Casey Pullen, Haiva Registre, Stella Maris Remigio, Adryanna Alys Reyes, Monique L. Rowell, Kiana D. Salas, Mary Elizabeth Mamye Satterlee, Demet Asli Saygili, Haley A Schwarz, Abigail C Shingler, Taylor Francis Swope, Charles Tyler Thomas, Colby M. Tietjens, Sarah  Titus, Jillian Rose Walker, Diamond B. Webb, Hanna Elizabeth West, Paula Tai May White, Bereket Henok Wubeshet

Graduate Awards:

College of Education Outstanding Graduate Student Award
Bethany Hagberg, master of education non-licensure program in special education  

Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences Nancy Morse Evans Leadership Awards

  • Physical Therapy: Jose Guevara-Cortez
  • Occupational Therapy: Kaitlyn Apple
  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Sarah Stevens

MDCHS Linda Seestedt-Stanford Leadership Awards

  • Physical Therapy: Emily Chandler
  • Physician Assistant: Abigail Manger
  • Occupational Therapy: Toni Oliva

MDCHS Outstanding Master of Healthcare Administration Graduate
Emily Hope Carroll

MDCHS Master of Science in Physician Assistant Student of the Year
Benjamin Hensel

Shakespeare and Performance Ariel Award for Outstanding Program Service and Leadership
Trent Stephens

Shakespeare and Performance Andrew Gurr Award for Outstanding Thesis
Kailey Potter

Susan Nolan Palmer Outstanding Master of Business Administration Apex Project Award
Shannon Sullivan

“Your time at MBU has made you more resilient, flexible in your evolution, and determined to succeed. I am confident you will be trailblazers and leaders throughout your careers.”

Board of Trustees Chair Gabrielle McCree ’83

Want to relive one or both ceremonies? Complete livestreams can be FOUND HERE.