Fletch Lamkin, president of Westminster College, kept things simple Saturday while speaking at graduation services.
"Today can be summed up in three words: You made it. You did it," he said. "Your hard work and commitment to excellence paid off."
Looking at the next step for many of the students, Lamkin said one thing was crystal clear.
"I know you found power and purpose through the Westminster experience," he said. "Law school, medical school, dental school, engineering, teaching, English, business, social justice, investments — these are some of the paths that lie ahead in your future, and we are so proud that your preparation began here at Westminster."
Westminster College's Outstanding Seniors Awards went to Lydia Creech and Kyle Kroll on Saturday. School officials said the 2019 graduating class included 159 seniors eligible to participate. Commencement services started at 2 p.m. in Champ Auditorium.
The keynote speaker for the ceremony was U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. He said his brother, Ron, is a graduate of Westminster.
"I told him I was going to be here, and he said, 'Are you going to mention me?' So, now I've done that. He is worth mentioning, like all younger brothers are."
Blunt also mentioned Sir Winston Churchill's visit and introduction by former President Harry S. Truman. Blunt said he works in Truman's former Senate office and sits at Truman's desk on the Senate floor.
"I know it's his desk cuz he carved his name in the desk drawer," Blunt added. "That's true — must have been a slow day that day."
Blunt has been serving in the United States Senate since 2010 and serves as chair person of the Senate Republican Policy Committee and the Senate Rules Committee. He also serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee; the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; and the Senate Rules Committee.
In addition, he serves as chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.
Other commencement activities included remarks by Dean of Faculty David Roebuck. The Senior of the Year and Outstanding Faculty awards were given.
College graduation is a rite of passage, but even so, it's always important to eat. Following a baccalaureate service for Westminster College graduates at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, a commencement luncheon was hosted for graduates, their families, and Westminster faculty and staff in the Mueller Leadership Hall and student center.
Following commencement exercises, graduates participated in the historic Columns Ceremony, a Westminster tradition. Just as they are welcomed as freshmen into the Westminster community by walking through the Columns onto campus, graduates say goodbye to Westminster by walking back through the Columns and into the world.