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2012 Spring Commencement Advance May 2012
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158 to Receive Degrees at Spring Commencement

Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2012 [11:06 AM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- An Adair County native and a longtime local leader will be among those honored at Lindsey Wilson College's 2012 spring commencement, to be held 10 a.m. CT Saturday, May 12, in Biggers Sports Center.

A total of 158 degrees will be awarded at the ceremony, the 95th commencement in the college's history.

Combined with the degrees awarded at last December's winter commencement, LWC will graduate a total of 445 undergraduate and graduate students this school year, the fourth largest class in the college's 109-year history.

The commencement address will be delivered by Wayne Meisel, director of faith and service at the Cousins Foundation in Atlanta.

Lindsey Wilson will honor Adair County native Allan Parnell and Adair County resident Sue Stivers with an honorary doctorate. Meisel will also receive an honorary doctorate.

"Few individuals are better exemplars of what it means to make a difference than Sue Stivers, Allan Parnell and Wayne Meisel," said LWC President William T. Luckey Jr. "Allan is one of Adair County's most distinguished favorite sons; Sue epitomizes what it means to be a community leader; and Wayne is a role model for those who want to change the world. All three individuals have subscribed to the maxim that we should leave the world a little better than we found it."

The aim of the Cousins Foundation is to connect young people who have a passion for service and social justice with their interest in spiritual exploration, faith formation and vocation.

Before joining the Cousins Foundation, Meisel was president of The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation of Princeton, N.J., an organization that supports scholarships for low-income students at 22 schools in the Southeast and Midwest, including Lindsey Wilson, through the Bonner Scholars Program. In return, each scholarship recipient performs at least 600 hours of community service annually.

From 1983-89, Meisel was founder of the internationally known Campus Outreach Opportunity League (COOL), a platform for students and graduates to lead, sustain and challenge their peers to serve others and bring about positive change.

Meisel has served on the national boards of directors of the Independent Sector; COOL; and The New Grange School, a nationally acclaimed school for youths with learning disabilities. He was also a founding board member of the President's Commission on National and Community Service and Teach for America.

After he graduated with a government degree from Harvard University, Meisel used a fellowship to walk from Maine to Washington to champion student and campus involvement in community service.

Meisel is the author of two books, Building a Movement: Students in Community Service and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: From Student Ideas to Campus Action. He has also edited two books of quotes: Men About Men and Light One Candle.

An Adair County native who now lives in Louisville, Ky., Parnell is founder and CEO of Mister "P" Express and chair of the Lindsey Wilson Board of Trustees. Parnell was a member of the first class to graduate from Adair County High School. He then moved to Louisville, where he spent more than 20 years working at General Electric Co.'s Appliance Park, which included attending GE's legendary three-year management training program.

Parnell founded Mister "P" Express in 1987. What started with three leased trucks has evolved into a business of 150 trucks, 250 employees and more than $30 million in annual sales. For six of the eight last years, Business First of Louisville has named Mister "P" Express as one of Greater Louisville's fastest-growing privately held companies. Parnell serves as CEO of the company; his wife, Bunny, is vice chairman; and their daughter, Cindy Collier, is the company's president. Cindy is also a Lindsey Wilson alumna.

A native of Russell County, Ky., Stivers served for more than 40 years in the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, where she took the profession to new levels. Stivers was the first home economics Extension agent in Cumberland County, a position she held for nine years. She then came to Adair County, where for more than three decades she met the community's economic, educational and health needs as an Extension agent.

After retiring from the Cooperative Extension Service, Stivers has served as executive director of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Commission and Economic Development Authority Inc.

Lindsey Wilson's baccalaureate service will be held at 7 p.m. CT Friday, May 11, in Biggers Sports Center. The address will be given by the Rev. Todd Love, superintendent of the Columbia District of the Kentucky Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Following spring commencement on Saturday, the Lindsey Wilson National Alumni Association will hold a reception for graduates and their guests in the Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center.

For more information about LWC's 95th commencement ceremony, contact the college at or (270) 384-8400.

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