Darin Bell, of Rainsville, recently completed their Education Specialist in School Counselor this spring at the University of the Cumberlands.

Cumberlands held commencement ceremonies this spring to celebrate its newest graduates. Students in the Class of 2021 hailed from 40 states and territories as well as multiple countries, including Canada, Gambia, India, Jamaica, Madagascar, Serbia, Spain, Taiwan, and Ukraine, among others. Graduates from the Class of 2020 were also able to participate in this year's ceremonies.

Cumberlands President Dr. Larry Cockrum gave his heartfelt congratulations to the students and offered them a few reminders as they take their next step in life.

"You will have a unique story to tell throughout your life about the circumstances of your senior year," Cockrum said. "How you respond to circumstances is more important, more defining, and more lasting than the circumstance itself. Always remember that with hopefulness, with preparation, and with the proper tools, we are all capable of a new and positive beginning. Find the joy in life. Life brings opportunities and obstacles. Pursue the opportunities, and be persistent and patient getting past the obstacles. Follow your heart, but use your head. Listen to the people around you, always look to learn, grow, and try new things, and laugh a lot."

President Cockrum also took a moment to recognize the family and friends who had supported the graduates while they were taking classes, noting their "sacrifice, concern, and labor of love" that helped the graduates succeed.

The university also honored exemplary students during its undergraduate commencement ceremonies on April 30 and May 1, acknowledging the students' exceptional academic performance, leadership, and character.

Hutton Scholars include all undergraduate students who completed a minimum of 200 community service hours during their Cumberlands career. The Class of 2021 had 31 Hutton Scholars and performed 30,935 hours of community service throughout their college careers. The Corporation for National and Community Services values volunteer work at $25.43 per hour, making this graduation class' total contribution to the community $693,603.

The administration also recognized students who had been accepted into the J.T. Vallandingham Scholastic Honor Society, the highest academic honor granted by Cumberlands. For acceptance, the students must have completed 96 hours of coursework and maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.75. There were 64 students from the Class of 2021 inducted into the honor society.

The university thanks this spring's graduates for their lasting, positive influence on Cumberlands' campus and the community and congratulates all Class of 2021 scholars and award winners on a job well done.

From everyone at University of the Cumberlands, congratulations, Class of 2021!

Graduates who attended commencement ceremonies (both the Class of 2020 ceremony and Class of 2021 ceremonies) may visit www.ucumberlands.edu/classof2021 to download their graduation ceremony video and photos.

University of the Cumberlands is one of the largest and most affordable private universities in Kentucky. Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs. Learn more at ucumberlands.edu.

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