Magazine On-line [summer 2012]
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President Williams shakes April Corman's hand

Bachelor’s degrees conferred on 241 members of the class of 2012

President R. Owen Williams conferred the bachelor of arts degree on 241 students in the class of 2012 during a commencement ceremony on the steps of Old Morrison May 26.

Bianca Spriggs

Bianca Spriggs

Bianca Spriggs ’03, a renowned Affrilachian poet and multi-disciplinary artist, gave a unique commencement address, presenting a poetry reading accompanied by graduating senior Caleb Ritchie on piano. She had asked seniors to submit thoughts about their careers and how they grew as people during their Transylvania years, ideas that she used in her presentation.

Spriggs talked to the students about measuring time not in minutes and hours, but rather in non-traditional ways like how many fortune cookies you’ve cracked open, lines you’ve stood in, daydreams you’ve had, and perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you’ve created. She ended by saying, “In this time, in this life, let us count on you, the most precious time capsule of them all.”

Spriggs, a history major and studio art minor at Transylvania, earned a master of arts in English composition/creative writing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is in the doctoral program for creative writing at the University of Kentucky. She has had an active career that includes writing, teaching, performance art, and filmmaking.

Ashley Howe

Ashley Howe

Graduating senior Ashley Howe, a German studies and history double major from Danville, Ky., gave the student address, titled “Gemütlichkeit.” It focused on finding comfort in discomfort and how her Transylvania experience prepared her to tackle seemingly insurmountable issues in the world outside the campus.

“Gemütlichkeit is a (German) word best used when describing coziness—an environment or state of mind marked by cheerfulness, calmness, and a sense of belonging or social acceptance,” Howe said. “What I have come to respect most about my class has been our eagerness to prevade discomfort—to move away from gemütlichkeit—and this is a quality that makes us Transylvania graduates unique.”

Picture at top: President Williams presents April Corman with her diploma.

See commencement videos at

See stories of some of our graduates' post-Transylvania plans here and here.

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