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BC Grads Urged to Think of Life's Big Picture


As Bridgewater College's graduating seniors and their families celebrated on the campus mall Saturday, May 12, Dr. Darla Deardorff urged the 357 graduates to think of life's "big picture" and to seek out opportunities that will challenge them to make a positive difference in the world.

Deardorff, who graduated from Bridgewater College in 1992, is executive director of the Association of International Education Administrators, a national professional organization based at Duke University, where she is a Research Scholar in the Program in Education.

She is also visiting professor at Leeds-Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and is on faculty of the prestigious Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication in Portland, Oregon

Her address, titled "Words to Live By," exhorted the graduates to reflect on the people in their lives who have guided and supported them and to focus on the guidance received from those mentors.

"Pay attention to that wisdom," she said. "It helps make you who you are, and those words will be the words you remember and will guide you through your life's journey."

Her own words to live by, she noted, were provided by her father, who told her to remember the big picture, and from her mother, who always encouraged her to seize the day.

"Who are the people and what are the words that have shaped you?" she asked Bridgewater's graduates. "How will you make the most of those words as you move forward into the next chapter of your life? Seek, embrace and follow your own words to live by and there is, indeed, no limit to what you will be able to accomplish."

Among the 357 students in the Class of 2012, 111 earned bachelor of arts degrees and 227 earned bachelor of science degrees. The college's president, George Cornelius, conferred the degrees at the ceremony.

Eleven members of the class graduated summa cum laude – the top academic honor which requires at least a 3.9 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Eleven graduates earned magna cum laude honors – a 3.7 or better average. Cum laude honors, requiring a 3.4 grade point average, were earned by 63 graduates.

Media Contacts

Charles Culbertson
Director of Media Relations and
Editor of Bridgewater Magazine
Office: 540-828-5720
Mobile: 540-255-1831

Mary Kay Heatwole
Media Relations Assistant
Office: 540-828-5486

Abbie Parkhurst
Executive Director of Marketing & Communications/College Spokeswoman
Office: 540-828-5782
Mobile: 540-294-1441