Spalding will celebrate graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 during Commencement, June 3-5, 2021. In the leadup, Spalding is featuring graduates from a range of academic programs. Today’s featured graduate is Felicia Graham, who is earning the degree of Master of Education in Instructional Leadership as part of the first cohort of Spalding’s Aspiring Leaders principal preparation program with Jefferson County Public Schools. Graham is a third-grade teacher at JCPS’s Dunn Elementary School. 

How do you feel about your accomplishment of completing your degree and graduating?

There are not enough words to accurately describe how I feel about completing my program and graduating, especially during a pandemic. I feel so much pride and joy in my dedication to finish this commitment. Spalding certainly prepared me for my next step in my career.  I am excited to know what my future holds after completing this milestone!

What was it like to finish your degree during the pandemic? 

It was extremely difficult to balance work, school and other commitments. Truly, I contemplated stopping and pursuing this opportunity at another time. However, I was able to prioritize my responsibilities to make it easier to embrace all of my roles that I maintain on a daily basis. In addition, my cohort members and instructors were a great support system that helped me along my journey. I found out what I was truly made of. I pushed myself to new limits and accomplished my goal of completing my degree and graduating.

SPALDING COLLEGE OF EDUCATION | Overview of all bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral programs
JCPS ASPIRING LEADERS PRINCIPAL PREP | Spring 2020 press release | Fall 2020 update

What is something specifically about your academic program that you liked or that stands out about Spalding’s program/system that may not be the case at another school? 

I liked the hybrid format offered by Spalding because of the flexibility we had in attending both online and in-person classes. I also loved how personable my instructors were. If I needed any assistance, they were readily available at any time. Most importantly, my academic program was an established partnership with the local school system, Jefferson County Public Schools. It was amazing and so powerful to have guest speakers from the district because it made the work that I will be doing very realistic! It was so powerful to hear and learn from local leaders who are experts at their positions for the district I work for. The commitment of Spalding to the community is evident as they are preparing future leaders to lead and improve issues faced in schools. I feel these reasons support why Spalding was the perfect fit for me.

SPALDING COMMENCEMENT | 2021 schedule and information

Describe something you have done or accomplished at Spalding that you are proud of:

Receiving my degree is the best accomplishment that I am most proud of at Spalding. I am a proud alumna and look forward to supporting the school in any way possible in the future. I would like to continue to see Spalding work more with the schools in the community.

What does it mean to you to become a graduate of Spalding University? What do you think you will take with you from your time at Spalding that will serve you well in your career or life?

Being a graduate of Spalding is one accomplishment that I am very proud of! Out of all of my degrees, this one feels different because it was very relatable to the career I am pursuing currently. I grew more as an individual and enjoyed learning so much from people who are acutely aware of what it takes to be an effective administrator. By Spalding incorporating local guest speakers along with readings help make the learning so personable for me. With my degree from Spalding, I know that I will be able to take what I have learned and apply to become a leader of change in Jefferson County Public Schools and also positively affect our communities.

What are some of your favorite aspects and favorite memories bout attending Spalding? 

My favorite memories will be all of my instructors that I had this year:  Dr. Glenn Baete, Mr. Kirk Lattimore, and Dr. Tracy Barber. They were all very passionate about educating aspiring leaders and sharing valuable lessons that they learned from their experiences. They are still active and aware of the needs of the district, and they truly take pride in sharing their knowledge and helping to prepare others to continue the necessary work to create equitable, high-performing schools. In addition, it was an honor to have my principal, Dr. Barber, to encourage and support me throughout my graduate education and also apply my learning experience at our school. She is a great leader who is dedicated to helping others thrive and succeed!

What is something personal about your journey to graduating from Spalding that people may not know but that you’d like to share and that you are proud of? 

In graduating from Spalding, I was able to overcome my negative experiences that I have had relating to racism and equity and actually pursue a career in which I can attempt to change this for others. Students need a school leader who believes in the potential for all students to be successful while doing whatever it takes to provide equitable opportunities to guide and assist them throughout their education. I am so passionate about this work that is needed to make our communities better while creating influential and successful citizens. I am so grateful that Spalding believes and supports making the necessary changes to make the world a better place for all people to be accepted and live in.

Share some information about academic work and capstone project.

My group and I were so honored to present our Capstone project to Dr. Barber and Mr. Lattimore. It was a great culminating activity that encompassed everything we learned. We were able to apply our knowledge while analyzing a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP), which is actually the work of a school leader. It was very relatable and a great experience to actually lead the work as if we were administrators. This opportunity also provided ways for us to prioritize, collaborate, guide and lead others, just as we would have to do if we were a principal. Presenting this project allowed for us to work on our public speaking skills while creating an engaging presentation to accommodate the research we conducted. It was a great and useful learning experience!

What are your next steps with this degree?

My next step is to pursue a job as an assistant principal or seek other leadership opportunities within the district. Eventually, I can see myself attending Spalding to seek a Doctorate of Education in Leadership.

Spalding will celebrate graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 during Commencement, June 3-5, 2021. In the leadup, Spalding is featuring graduates from a range of academic programs. Today’s featured graduate is Haley Nestor, who earned the degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2020 and who just began her second term as President of the Student Government Association. She is currently enrolled in Spalding’s Master of Science in Business Communication program. She is also a former track and field and cross country athlete.

Which years have you attended Spalding University, and which degree are you earning? 

I began my journey at Spalding in 2017 and completed my bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in psychology in 2020. I loved it so much, I came back for my master’s and will complete that at the end of 2021.

How do you feel about your accomplishment of completing your degree and graduating?

To me, I am taking away so much more than just a degree. When I graduate, yes, I will have a degree. But I will also have great friends, great connections with effective leaders, a fiancé who I met at Spalding, a father-figure who was once my coach. I am extremely blessed to be at this point in my life. The hard work is finally paying off, and I couldn’t be prouder of myself and excited to provide for a family one day.

COMMENCEMENT 2021 | Details and schedule for graduation
LEARN ABOUT THIS GRAD’S PROGRAM | BS in Business Administration

What was it like to finish your degree during the pandemic?

I have an unpopular opinion about finishing my degree during the pandemic. For me, the pandemic helped me hold myself accountable more. There are many lessons you learn during your college career, accountability being one of them. The pandemic forced many students to be held accountable and stay on top of their responsibilities. The pandemic also forced me to connect with individuals on a totally different platform and made me so resilient to what life wants to throw at me. The pandemic made things more challenging, but at the end, it made me resilient, and it made Spalding University resilient, and that is a great thing.

What is something specifically about your academic program that you liked or that stands out about Spalding’s program/system that may not be the case at another school?

Something that has always stood out to me is the fact that Tori McClure is the President. I love being a leader, I love being able to help and advocate for students, staff, and faculty. To see a woman be such an influential and effective leader has led me to where I am today. I was told in high school that women cannot be successful in the business world or be taken seriously as a leader. Seeing President McClure work and being able to have great conversations with her showed me that is not the case.

Describe something you have done or accomplished at Spalding that you are proud of:

By the time that I graduate from Spalding with my bachelor’s and master’s, I will have served in student government as a Senator, Secretary and two-time President of the Executive Board. This is something that I am proud of because a goal I live by is to leave something better than the way you found it. I love that students, staff and faculty have been able to count on me to be an advocate for them. It has been the leading factor in choosing to pursue an MSBC in Organizational Leadership, and it will continue to be the leading factor in developing myself as a leader for the rest of my life. During my time at Spalding, I was able to be a part of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams, SGA and Residence Life, while maintaining a full-time job and being a full-time student. I am proud to become a Spalding alumna. My time at Spalding is something that I will forever remember.

What has been your favorite thing about attending Spalding, and why?

My favorite thing about attending Spalding was meeting my fiancé. I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was during his Engage event when I was a Resident Assistant (RA) volunteering to help with the Rock, Paper, Scissors battle. After many rounds of Rock, Paper, Scissors – I won, of course – I knew his smile and competitiveness would be one that I wanted to remember forever. I never expected to find the love of my life so early in my life, but I have been so fortunate. Spalding will always have a special place in my relationship and in my life. Another great person I met at Spalding was our former cross country coach, Bradley Sowder. He will be the one who marries us when the time comes, and to meet someone who we trust to guide our marriage is so big. I am so blessed to have found these wonderful people at Spalding.

What is something personal about your journey to graduating from Spalding that people may not know but that you’d like to share and that you are proud of? 

When people see me or my accomplishments, they have always believed that I was a 4.0 student and have everything figured out. What people do not know is that Spalding offers a great resource that I took full advantage of. I was able to do a full assessment of my mental health, learning ability and more. I found out very early that I struggled with my vocabulary, retaining information, sleep, anxiety, etc. I did not start out figuring everything out, and I still do not have everything figured out. But there are people at Spalding that you find who will have a huge impact on you and keep you on track. I have had many conversations with professors on how I can better retain information, whether that was recording lectures, staying after, going to study groups, etc. I have had conversations with people who have told me to slow down and to enjoy the moment. I have always said that life is all about connections, and Spalding has brought me great connections. I can say that I have never failed a class, and I have made it to the Deans list more than once. At the beginning, I did not think college was for me, but once you find the people who want the best for you as much as you do, they really do make an impact.

Spalding President Tori Murden McClure sent the following message to the campus community on Tuesday, May 20, 2021:

Dear Spalding Community,

You have likely seen that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its COVID-19 guidance last week, declaring that it is now safe for fully vaccinated individuals to stop wearing masks indoors and outdoors. Governor Beshear has also amended the Kentucky mask mandate, which now no longer requires fully vaccinated people to wear a mask.

While it is extremely encouraging to see the decline in COVID-19 cases and the increase in people who have received vaccines, we have decided that Spalding University will maintain its mask policy as-is through the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year. That means that through June 30, 2021, all students, employees and visitors must continue to wear a mask at all times while indoors on campus, except for when they are in individual offices or residential rooms, or when seated and eating at the College Street Café’. As of May 18, 2021, about 36 percent of Kentuckians are fully vaccinated. That is good progress, but it also means that nearly two-thirds of our population is not yet vaccinated. With this in mind, it feels appropriate and responsible that we continue our masking policy, especially during Commencement, which will be, by far, our largest set of indoor gatherings of the year.

Masks and social distancing will be required for all attendees at our upcoming Commencement ceremonies, June 3-5. Graduates, please remind your guests that they will need to wear a mask before they go inside a campus building, regardless of their vaccination status. Free “Spalding Graduate” masks will be distributed to the graduates, and other free masks will be available for guests.

Continuing our consistent, standard policy with everyone in masks will be the safest, easiest way to hold class and interact on campus. Further, maintaining the status quo on our masking policy will eliminate the burden – and any anxieties – on our faculty and staff in having to check every day who is or is not truly vaccinated and who is or is not allowed to go without a mask.

Spalding has been successful in having a low number of COVID-19 cases this year, and we believe that the 100 percent compliance that we have achieved in our masking policy is a big reason why. We can’t thank our students, faculty and staff enough for their cooperation in wearing masks without complaint. It’s been an amazing group effort.

We are, of course, all eager to get back to a more normal way of life, and we are excited to return to holding a majority of our classes in person next fall. Spalding will review our masking policy this summer. It is my sincere hope that the vast majority of the campus community will be vaccinated and that we will be able to set aside our masks in the coming year. We encourage you and your loved ones to get vaccinated for COVID-19. The vaccines are free and easily accessible and have been proven to be safe and highly effective. Anyone 12 and older is now eligible for a vaccine in Kentucky.

Thanks again for your cooperation and willingness to work together.

All the best,


Tori Murden McClure
Spalding University President

Dear Spalding Community,

I am excited to share the schedule for our in-person Commencement ceremonies, to be held on campus June 3-5, 2021. We will hold ten ceremonies over three days, with the events divided up by academic program. A few academic programs will have a combined ceremony with other programs, and a couple larger academic programs will hold two ceremonies in order to ensure social distancing. Provost Burden and I will attend every event to confer degrees.

Remember that our 2020 graduates are also invited back to walk in this year’s Commencement with the Class of 2021. Academic leaders, please remember to share all updates and instructions about your program’s Commencement ceremony with last year’s grads as well.

Note: Two academic schools – the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy and the School of Creative and Professional Writing – are having virtual Commencement ceremonies this year.

Here is the 2021 Spalding Commencement schedule:

Thursday, June 3, 2021
11 a.m. – Combined: School of Liberal Studies, School of Natural Science and Bachelor of Science in Health Science, College Street Ballroom, 812 S. Second St.
2 p.m. – Creative Arts Department, College Street Ballroom, 812 S. Second St.
5 p.m. – College of Education, Columbia Gym Auditorium, 824 S. Fourth St.

Friday, June 4, 2021
11 a.m. – Master of Science in Athletic Training, Troutman Lectorium, Egan Leadership Center, 901 S. Fourth St.
2 p.m. – Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice, Troutman Lectorium, Egan Leadership Center, 901 S. Fourth St.
5 p.m. – Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Columbia Gym Auditorium, 824 S. Fourth St.

Saturday, June 5, 2021
10 a.m. – Combined: School of Business and School of Communication, Columbia Gym Auditorium, 824 S. Fourth St.
Noon – Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in Psychology, College Street Ballroom, 812 S. Second St.
2 p.m. – Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, College Street Ballroom, 812 S. Second St.
5 p.m. – School of Social Work, Columbia Gym Auditorium, 824 S. Fourth St.


Graduates, please take the time in the next week to order graduation regalia through our vendor, Jostens. The link to order your cap, gown and other items is:

The Spalding Campus Store is handling regalia orders from Jostens. Students may either have their orders shipped to the Campus Store (“ship to school” option) for pickup or shipped to their homes. The deadline for “ship to school” is April 26, and the deadline for home shipping is April 29.

The Campus Store, which is located in the south end of the Egan Leadership Center at 901 S. Fourth St., can be reached at [email protected] .

Note about regalia: The graduation “stole” is optional.

Guest tickets

In order to reduce capacity and ensure social distancing, each graduate is allowed a maximum of two guests. We are finalizing a ticketing system and will share information about distributing tickets soon.

Safety protocols

Everyone attending Commencement must be symptom-free and will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing outside of their family unit. To help ensure Commencement is as safe and successful as possible, we encourage all our students, faculty and staff, and their loved ones to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are now available for anyone 16 and older.

Commencement webpage

Information and updates about this year’s Commencement can be found at

We are excited to celebrate our graduates soon!

All the best,

Tori Murden McClure

Spalding University President

Spalding President Tori Murden McClure sent the following message to the campus community on Monday, March 22, 2021:

Dear Spalding Community,

There is no more joyful and momentous occasion at Spalding University than Commencement. That’s why I am happy to announce that we will be safely returning to in-person Commencement activities this year, conducting a series of smaller graduation ceremonies on campus the first week of June that will be divided up by academic discipline. Provost Burden and I will attend each ceremony to confer degrees.

In addition to our 2021 graduates, 2020 graduates will also be invited back to participate in this year’s Commencement if they would like.

The individual ceremonies also will be streamed online for those who want or need to watch from home.

Here are additional Commencement details:

Dates and times
In order to avoid heavy crowds and traffic at any one time, the ceremonies will be held one at a time and scheduled throughout the day on Thursday, June 3; Friday, June 4; and Saturday, June 5. They likely will be held indoors at the Columbia Gym Auditorium, the College Street Ballroom or the Troutman Lectorium of the Egan Leadership Center.

Graduates should expect to receive more information soon from your school or academic program about the specific time, date and location that applies to you.

Masks required
The ceremonies will be conducted in accordance with local and state safety guidelines and by the standards we have set for our own university.

All attendees must be symptom-free and will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing outside of their immediate family/group.

To further ensure that our commencement activities are as safe as possible, we strongly encourage everyone to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible. Gov. Beshear announced last week that he expects all Kentuckians 16 years and older to be able to sign up for vaccines starting April 12.

Two guests per graduate
In order to ensure safe distancing between attendees, each graduate will be limited to two guests.

Some programs will have a virtual Commencement
Two academic programs – the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy and the School of Creative and Professional Writing – will be having virtual Commencement ceremonies instead of in person.

Plan to order regalia
Graduates should plan to order graduation regalia. Spalding’s Campus Store will be handling regalia orders through the vendor Jostens, and more information about purchasing will be sent soon. The Campus Store is located on the south end of the ELC, 901 S. Fourth St., and can be reached at (502) 585-7108 or at [email protected].

The Registrar will also send information with instructions and deadlines for applying for graduation. Be on the lookout for that in the coming weeks.

We are excited that these smaller ceremonies will safely provide our graduates with a memorable, meaningful day of recognition and celebration after all that they’ve accomplished.

Thank you and congratulations to both the Class of 2021 and Class of 2020. We can’t wait to see you walk across the stage in your cap and gown while sharing the experience with your loved ones and the classmates, faculty and staff you know best.

All the best,

Tori Murden McClure
President, Spalding University

Spalding’s Board of Trustees has bestowed the rank of Professor Emeritus and the title of Emeritus Professor of Psychology on Kenneth Linfield, PhD, a long-serving faculty member in the School of Professional Psychology.

Professor Emeritus Linfield has left a lasting mark on the University by displaying an intense love of learning and teaching, a powerful dedication to their students and a strong loyalty to Spalding that will be remembered and appreciated for years to come.

Ken Linfield
Dr. Kenneth Linfield

Following a career as a Methodist pastor, Dr. Linfield has served 21 years at Spalding. He is said to have always viewed his work as an extension of his ministry.

Dr. Linfield has spent the past 13 years as the Director of Graduate Training, taking on the major responsibilities of student advisement, admissions, tracking, and policy execution. He is an expert in quantitative methods, statistics, program evaluation and design and research ethics. His interests also include various elements of religious faith and spirituality, and the relation of religion and spirituality to a broad range of mental health issues, including positive elements such as well-being.

He is an associate editor of the American Psychological Association journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. He wrote a graduate textbook on Program Evaluation, and he has coauthored a wide range of articles and chapters.

Dr. Linfield is said to have “left an indelible mark of quality on all of his professional activities, both within the School of Professional Psychology and across the broader Spalding community. He has embodied the concept of compassion across all his professional endeavors.”

Every year at Commencement, the Spalding Board of Trustees bestows the Outstanding Faculty Award to a member of the Spalding faculty whose work embodies the mission of Spalding University. The recipient will have made a significant impact on students in areas such as teaching; advising; facilitating student research; promoting peace, justice and cultural understanding; providing support services; encouraging extracurricular activities; or any other aspect of student life.

The recipient of the 2020 Spalding Outstanding Faculty Award is Brenda Nash, PhD, Full Professor in the School of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Nash serves as the Director of Clinical Training in Spalding’s prestigious Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program, and on July 1, she will assume the role of Chair of the School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Nash has been on the full-time faculty at Spalding since 2006 and has served as Clinical Director since 2011, overseeing students’ practicum and internship placements. The rate at which a university’s PsyD students are placed at internship sites accredited by the American Psychological Association is perhaps the most important measure of the quality of the program. Under Dr. Nash’s direction, Spalding’s APA-accredited internship match rate has, remarkably, been 100 percent for the past four years.

In addition, this year, she became the first Spalding faculty member to serve on the state’s Board of Examiners of Psychology, as appointed by Gov. Beshear.

LEARN MORE | Spalding’s PsyD program overview
PERFECT MATCH RATE | 100% of Spalding PsyD students land at APA-accredited internship sites
LEARN MORE | Spalding’s Bachelor of Arts in Psychology overview

Moreover, Dr. Nash has co-authored two scholarly book chapters this year, and she is also collecting data on the effectiveness of mindfulness-based groups for correctional officers in rural Kentucky, a grant-funded contract that has also supported student training. For the past decade, she has led a Research Interest Group (RIG) organized around women’s issues.

Dr. Nash specializes in working with survivors of trauma, including sexual and physical abuse, childhood abuse, domestic violence, automobile accidents and catastrophic loss.

In a very recent example of her compassionate leadership, Dr. Nash and SOPP faculty organized Friday’s Show of Solidarity demonstration, during which students, faculty and staff lined S. Fourth St., standing silently in support of the Black community and against racial injustice.

Dr. Nash has been described as having “a clear passion for the field of psychology, and more specifically for the training and education of future psychologists. She models compassion, self-reflection, and commitment for her doctoral students and pushes her peers to be better supervisors, educators, and clinicians.”

Dear Spalding Students,

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, we know many of you have wondered about the status of our 2020 Commencement. Unfortunately, this year, the need to avoid large gatherings and stay socially distant will force us to postpone the June 6 Commencement ceremony and reimagine how it’s conducted.

Spalding absolutely still plans to celebrate our graduating Class of 2020 and intends to do it in an in-person setting that is safe for our graduates and their loved ones. To that end, we will be postponing Commencement until August, September or possibly October, with exact dates still to be determined.

Instead of the large university-wide ceremony in which a few thousand people gather in the same church sanctuary, we will hold a series of smaller ceremonies for individual academic disciplines, likely spread out over multiple dates this fall and held at multiple venues on or around campus. This approach will help us limit the number of people who are on campus or at a single venue at the same time.

These smaller ceremonies will be similar to the school-specific ones traditionally held on the Friday before Commencement. Though they’ll occur later than initially planned, we hope these smaller ceremonies will be meaningful, memorable opportunities for graduates to celebrate their achievements with the classmates and faculty who know them best. Provost Burden and I will be at every ceremony to confer degrees.

  • We will let faculty from the individual academic programs – in consultation with student leaders – determine which dates are appropriate for ceremonies for their programs. Faculty leaders will gather input from the Student Government Association and other student organizations related to their academic programs.
  • We hope to announce the dates and sites for the various ceremonies by July in order to give graduates and their families time to make plans.
  • Graduating students are encouraged to hold off on ordering regalia until this summer. We will send more guidance and instructions on this later.
  • We unfortunately do not expect to stage a separate baccalaureate service this year, but we do plan to incorporate elements of baccalaureate into the individual Commencement ceremonies.
  • We will move forward with these in-person Commencement ceremonies only if it’s safe to do so. If conditions regarding the coronavirus do not improve by the fall, we may stage a virtual Commencement.

We are so proud of our graduates for finishing their degrees, especially during these challenging times when our entire way of life has been disrupted. The University will do everything it can to make this Commencement a special one because our graduates deserve it.

All the best,



Tori Murden McClure

Spalding University President

March 25, 2020

Dear Spalding Students,

As concern continues over the spread of the coronavirus, the safety of our students and employees remains our top priority. As a result, Spalding’s academic leaders have decided to extend the University’s suspension of face-to-face and hybrid classes through the entirety of Session 5.  All classes will be conducted fully online until at least May 11, 2020.

The campus will remain closed except for the small group of students still living in the residence halls and the employees who are needed to ensure their care.  Students who left the residence halls earlier this month should expect to remain at home until at least May 9, 2020.

We hope everyone is adjusting well to the move to fully online learning that began on Monday for most students. Please maintain contact with your instructor during this time. We have asked all faculty to be as flexible as possible to meet student needs during this crisis.

Commencement decision in late April 

We expect that many students have questions about our plans for Commencement, which is scheduled for Saturday, June 6. We continue to hope that we will be permitted to host some variation of Commencement. To keep this hope alive, we will wait until the last reasonable moment to make a final decision. Because students will need to order regalia, and families might need to make travel plans, we will announce our decision in the last week of April. We suggest that students postpone ordering their regalia or making travel arrangements for their families until we announce our decision.

Students who plan to graduate should still submit their Application for Graduation through Web Advisor. Applications should be submitted no later than 8 a.m. on Friday, April 24.  Commencement 2020 is open to all graduating students who have already or will complete requirements from Oct.9, 2019 through Aug. 15, 2020.

We thank everyone for their understanding and for adapting to this unprecedented disruption to our campus operations and the way of life in our country. The Spalding community is strong, and we will get through this together.


Dr. John E. Burden
Professor of Chemistry
Spalding University

Spalding University held its annual Commencement ceremony on Saturday at Canaan Christian Church, conferring bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to 614 students. Spalding also extended its tradition of conferring honorary degrees to members of the public who have made contributions to the greater good as well as awards to outstanding alumni, faculty and undergraduate students.

This year, the Spalding Board of Trustees presented three honorary doctorates – to business and community leader Ulysses Lee “Junior” Bridgeman (Honorary Doctor of Laws), to Humana co-founder David Jones Sr. (Honorary Doctor of Public Service) and to Sister of Charity Federation NGO representative to the United Nations Sister Teresa Kotturan, SCN (Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters).

Spalding presented the Caritas Medal – its highest honor for alumna of the year – to nursing leader Shirley Powers, who earned her bachelor of science in nursing from Spalding in 1972.

Dr. Pattie Dillon, Associate Professor of history and the Chair of the School of Liberal Studies, was named the Outstanding Faculty Award winner for 2019.

Spalding bestowed the honor of Faculty Emeritus/Emerita on three long-serving faculty members who are retiring with at least 25 years of service each at the university – School of Business Assistant Professor of Management David Hudson, School of Nursing Professor and Graduate Program Director Dr. Pamela King and School of Natural Science Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Marlene Will.

The two undergraduate student award winners were Teresa San Ngyuen, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, who received the Mother Catherine Spalding Service Learning Award; and Kelsey Hamilton, Bachelor of Science in Education (Secondary and Middle Grades), who received the Meagher Senior Award.

Here’s a closer look at the honorary degree recipients and award winners from 2019, and congratulations to them all:

Honorary Doctor of Laws – Junior Bridgeman
He’s the owner and chief executive officer of Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Co., LLC, which owns and operates a Coca-Cola production and manufacturing facility in Lenexa, Kansas, and 17 Coca-Cola distribution facilities sprinkled across the American heartland.

Prior to the 2017 acquisition of the Heartland bottling operations, Bridgeman was the owner and chief executive officer of various companies operating over 450 restaurants in 20 states, including 263 Wendy’s restaurants and 123 Chili’s restaurants, and his companies received several prestigious awards within the industry.

Bridgeman attended the University of Louisville, where he graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. He was a three-year letter-winner and starter on the U of L basketball team, receiving All-American honors as a senior. He played professionally from 1975 to ’86 as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers.

Bridgeman serves or has served on multiple governing boards, including for Meijer Inc., Churchill Downs, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, the James Graham Brown Foundation, Simmons College, the West End School and U of L, where he was board chair.

Bridgeman’s personal honors include membership in the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame and being named a recipient of the Volunteers of America Tribute Award for Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky; the John Thompson Foundation Outstanding Achievement Award; and the Coach John Wooden Key to Life Award.

Honorary Doctorate of Public Service – David A. Jones Sr.
He co-founded Humana Inc. in 1961 and served as chief executive officer for 37 years and board chair for 44 years prior to retiring in 2005. He served as founding board chairman of Hospira until his retirement in 2007. He is a retired director of Abbott Laboratories and several other companies.

Jones was a member of The Business Roundtable and co-founder and past chair of the Healthcare Leadership Council, a group of about 50 CEOs of the nation’s largest health care organizations.

Jones, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and his wife, Betty, have five children and 11 grandchildren.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville in 1954, where he won the outstanding senior award.  He also became a Certified Public Accountant that year. After three years of Navy service he entered Yale University, earning a law degree in 1960, while also serving on the economics faculty from 1958 to 1960. He received the Yale Law School Medal in 1990 and the Yale Medal in 1992.

In 2003, he received Romania’s highest civilian award, the Order of Merit, for his role from 1990-2006 in rebuilding that nation’s devastated health care system.

He also holds honorary doctorates from the Chicago Medical School, the Claremont Graduate School, the University of Louisville, Middlebury College, Transylvania University and Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania.

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters – Teresa Kotturan, SCN
In her role as the NGO representative at the UN for the Sisters of Charity Federation, Kotturan’s primary objective is to bring the concerns of the 2,700 members of the federation and all those with whom and to whom they minister in 26 countries to the global stage of the UN. She is committed to raising awareness through the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people live in peace and prosperity.

Kotturan has been a Sister of Charity of Nazareth for 49 years and previously served as Vice President of the SCN. She has also served as the Provincial Superior of the India Province for eight years.

Kotturan works to ensure that the voices of women religious and those they serve are heard. She strives to raise awareness for pressing global concerns such as poverty eradication, lack of access to education, human trafficking, human rights, global citizenship, migration and inter-religious dialogue, social development, financing for development, climate change and environmental sustainability.

Caritas Medalist (Alumna of the Year) – Shirley Burns Powers
The 1972 graduate of Spalding with a bachelor of science degree in nursing contributed to the advancement of health care and the profession of nursing in Louisville. She served  as the Chief Information Officer for Norton Hospital and implemented the first clinical information system in the state. She advanced to become Administrator for Norton Hospital and Senior Executive Officer for Norton Healthcare.

Upon retirement, Shirley started Powers Consulting Inc. and worked as Coordinator of the Greater Louisville Workforce Consortium for the Kentucky Hospital Association and Jefferson County Public Schools to implement the health care magnets in three high schools. She has served as a consultant to the Humana Foundation on a tour to Romania to assist in the writing of a health care plan for that country and to Spalding University on matters of nursing and finance. Burns has served on the boards of many organizations, including ones focused on health care, nursing and helping children. Among the myriad awards and honors she’s received, Burns was a recipient in 1996 of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Spalding for Leadership in Nursing. Now she is receiving the university’s highest honor for any alum.

Outstanding Faculty Award – Pattie Dillon
With courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, Jim Crow, gender history, and U.S. history since 1945, she has been praised for creating curriculum that is both rigorous and relevant to current events, and she is well-known around campus as being a very engaging teacher.

Dillon has undertaken scholarship work with the National Council for History Education, the Lilly Conference on College Teaching, and the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Dillon serves as Faculty Senate President and the Board of Trustees’ Faculty Representative. She is also the faculty mentor for the mission societies and has served on several search committees. Off campus, she serves as President of the Kentucky Association of Teachers of History; as school board member for St. James Catholic School; as a member of the Dialogue on Diversity Conference Committee; and as Lead History Scholar for the Rivers Institute at Hanover College and the NEH Picturing America Grant’s Picturing America’s Changing Landscapes Workshop.

Designation as Professor Emeritus – David Hudson
He has taught of range of management courses in the School of Business while also possessing knowledge and experience in human resources, sales, marketing and public relations. He has been a faculty athletic representative for the Golden Eagles’ athletic program, and he is a 20-year U.S. Army veteran

Designation as Professor Emerita – Pam King
She has trained scores of nurses, nurse practitioners and other health care leaders as the director of the graduate nursing program. Outside of Spading, she has volunteered at the Family Community Clinic, which provides medical care to individuals and families who lack health insurance, and she’s used her position there as a platform to provide service learning opportunities for Spalding students.

Designation as Professor Emerita – Marlene Will
Dr. Will has spent most of her adult life associated with Spalding. She earned a bachelor’s degree in math and a master of arts in teaching at Spalding, then spent more than four decades as a professor at the university, where she also earned her doctorate in education. In teaching a variety of math courses – from college alegbra to statistics, as well as mathematics for teachers – Dr. Will played a part in the college journey of countless students from all manner of majors and degree programs.

Mother Catherine Spalding Service Learning Award – Teresa San Nguyen
Annually, this award recipient embodies the spiritual values of faith, hope and charity, which emulate Spalding’s founder, Mother Catherine Spalding. On campus, Nguyen has been a work-study in the library and a psychology tutor. Off campus, she has been heavily involved with the Vietnamese Eucharist Movement, leading youth groups there, and she volunteers at Centerstone in the crisis management center.

Mother Rose Meagher Senior Award – Kelsey Hamilton
This award goes annually to a person who has performed well academically and has a proven record as a mature leader and member of the campus community. Hamilton has been praised by faculty for her academic excellence, work ethic, maturity, judgment, helpfulness and creativity. As a work-study in the College of Education and as a student teacher at the Brown School, she has been praised for her initiative to complete tasks, her professionalism and her knowledge of mathematics content. She has also been a successful member of the Spalding track and field team and active member of the Kentucky Education Association Student Program. Hamilton collected more than 500 children’s books for the Rutherford Elementary Reads program.