Cottey College is preparing for Commencement and other related activities. As these important events draw closer, drivers on Austin are asked to take note of the increased pedestrian and visitor traffic and to drive safely. The public is invited to attend the following Commencement weekend events.
The weekend begins Friday, May 11, with the Merry Ann DeVaney Sauls Writing Awards Contest at 10 a.m. in the Missouri Recital Hall. Named after Mrs. Sauls, a 1959 graduate of Cottey College, the contest was developed to enhance the prestige of academic writing in the disciplines at Cottey. Awards are given in six areas of academic writing, composition, creative writing, everyday writing, professional writing, and writing in a foreign language. Category winners will read selections from their papers.
The activities continue that evening with Baccalaureate at 7 p.m. in the Cottey College Chapel. The Spiritual Life Committee sponsors this special service.
On Saturday, May 12, graduates and returning students will be honored for their academic achievements at the Honors and Awards Convocation, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium of the Haidee and Allen Wild Center for the Arts.
Capping, one of the longest running traditions, will also take place Saturday at 7 p.m. on the Main Hall steps. Seniors have their mortarboards pinned atop their heads by those who have significantly impacted their lives. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved to the Auditorium in the Center for the Arts.
Commencement will be Sunday, May 13, at 10 a.m. in the Hinkhouse Gymnasium. This year’s College Marshal, leading the student procession, will be Professor Theresa Spencer, professor of music.
Honored speaker at Commencement this year will be Tatsiana Khvitsko-Trimborn, Class of 2010. Born in Belarus four years after the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in 1986, Tanya was born without fully-formed legs and also missing most of her fingers, making her a “Child of Chernobyl.” As a young child in boarding school, visiting American doctors found her and brought her to Kansas City to be fitted for new prosthetics, where she returned each summer for adjustments while learning English. After earning an associate’s degree from Cottey, Tanya continued her education at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas City, earning a bachelor’s degree in corporate communication. It was during her senior year in college that she was fitted with a set of prosthetics on which she could run. Immediately hooked on running, she was soon running 5k’s, half marathons and recently completed her first full marathon. Because her leg blades are visible when she runs, she is an inspiration to other amputees.
Ms. Khvitsko-Trimborn currently lives in Kansas City with her husband John where she serves as a public relations specialist for Knit-Rite, a company that manufactures prosthetic socks. Tanya also holds a master’s degree in the science of management, and her personal story will certainly serve as an inspiration to all.
The Chapel is located between Reeves Hall and Robertson Hall on the south side of Austin Boulevard. Main Hall is on the northwest corner of Austin and Chestnut streets. The Gymnasium, inside Hinkhouse Center, is located one block south of Austin Boulevard. Parking is available at the Center for the Arts, which is on the corner of Austin and Tower Streets. Additional parking may be found in the lot south of Robertson Hall, accessible off of Tower Street.