Madison County

EKU spring graduation honors 2,236 graduates

RICHMOND — Eastern Kentucky University recognized 2,236 degree candidates at its annual spring commencement on Saturday.

Three ceremonies were held, each honoring degree candidates in one or two academic collees. Those recognized include 1,616 for bachelor's degrees, 486 for master's degreees, 124 for associate degrees, eight for specialist degrees and two for doctoral degrees.

The keynote speakers were Ralph Hacker, a retired Lexington broadcast executive and sports announcer; Chunbo Li, chairman and CEO of Zhejiang Medicine Corporation in China; and Bonnie Gray, the retired director of EKU's honors program. Hacker and Gray received honorary doctor of humanities degrees. Li received an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Li's appearance marked the first time at Eastern that a foreign national had been awarded an honorary degree and addressed the audience in a language other than English.

Hacker, who attended EKU, told College of Arts and Sciences graduates that they should always pay forward their good fortune: "Don't ever forget where you came from, and don't forget to give back."