Lakeland honors 'Prof' during successful graduation weekend
Academics - posted on 5/5/2008
Lakeland College awarded degrees to 848 graduates on Sunday at the college's 146th Commencement Exercise.
A total of 425 of the graduates participated in the 2 p.m. ceremony in the Todd Wehr Center. Lakeland awarded 627 undergraduate degrees, 448 to students that attended classes through Lakeland's Kellett School of Adult Education and 179 to students from the college's full-time program at its main campus in Sheboygan County. Lakeland also awarded 221 graduate degrees.
J. Garland Schilcutt, the chair of Lakeland's business division who celebrated his 50th anniversary as a Lakeland faculty member this year, was awarded an honorary degree by the college during the ceremony.
Known to most simply as 'Prof,' Schilcutt came to Lakeland in January of 1958, and while he planned on leaving at the end of the semester, he was quickly named the head of the department of business & economics, just one of the many titles he has held during his tenure.
Lakeland recently wrapped up a week-long celebration of Schilcutt's anniversary, which included a tribute dinner a week earlier that brought many alumni and friends back to campus.
Schilcutt is the creator, developer and sustainer of all of Lakeland's business programs, a segment of Lakeland's curriculum that accounts for more than 50 percent of the college's living graduates and almost 75 percent of the current student body.
Schilcutt started offering evening courses for working adults in the area, which led to creation of Lakeland's Lifelong Learning program, which today is the Kellett School of Adult Education.
David Lehman, an accomplished poet and series editor of "The Best American Poetry," delivered the commencement address. In addition to serving as series editor of "The Best American Poetry," which he initiated in 1988, he is general editor of the University of Michigan Press's Poets on Poetry Series.
Sunday got started with the baccalaureate service in the Bradley Fine Arts Building.
The baccalaureate preacher was Robert Miller, who graduated from Lakeland in 1959 and from the Mission House Seminary in 1962, the same year he was ordained at Salem United Church of Christ in Plymouth. Miller earned a doctor of theology from International Theological Seminary in Plymouth, Fla., and was conferred in 1988. He served UCC parishes in Indiana, Iowa and Illinois before retiring from full-time ministry in 2003.
On Saturday night, at Lakeland's graduation celebration, the college made two major award presentations.
Cliff Schneider of Appleton was named the winner of the Robert W. Lope Award, which goes to the Kellett School graduate who has shown unusual persistence, dedication and commitment in the course of earning their bachelor's degree.
Schneider began taking classes at Lakeland in 1998 as a true freshman with zero credits, completing all 120 of his academic credits at Lakeland and graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in business management.
He has worked for Theda Care in the Fox Cities for over 25 years, starting as an electrician at Theda Clark Hospital, and working his way up to his current position of facilities manager at both Theda Clark Hospital and Appleton Medical Center.
Ryan Holm of Gladstone, Mich., was named the winner of the Clarence H. Koehler Campus Senior Award, given annually to the graduate who best exemplifies the "Lakeland Spirit" through academic achievement, service to the college and fellow students and participation in college and student programs and activities.
Holm was heavily involved during his time at Lakeland. He was a member and captain of the Lakeland football team, was president of Student Association, an officer in the LC-Campus Activities Board, he gave tours as a campus ambassador, wrote weblogs geared toward prospective students on Lakeland's website and served as a resident assistant. He read at local elementary schools and was involved with the Sheboygan County Big Brothers & Big Sisters chapter.
He is wrapping up his first semester as a middle school teacher in Gladstone in his hometown school district.
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