By Sarah Cornett – Editor-in-Chief
This year, Centre’s Commencement speaker will be Kentucky’s own Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen.
Lieutenant Governor Luallen was sworn in on Nov. 14, 2014 after being appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to replace Jerry Abramson.
For Luallen, the opportunity to speak at this year’s Commencement is especially important since Centre is her alma mater.
Crit Blackburn, as she was known then, graduated from Centre in 1974 with a degree in Studio Art.
Since graduation, Luallen worked in several other state positions including Secretary of the Executive Cabinet under Governor Paul E. Patton. In 2003, Luallen was elected to the position as Auditor which she served in for nine years. Today, Luallen also sits on Centre’s Board of Trustees as a valued member for the past 16 years.
“Because of her intellect, sound judgment, deep commitment to the people of Kentucky and great sense of personal integrity, Crit Luallen is uniquely well suited to serve the Commonwealth as its Lietenant Governor,” President John Roush said. “We at Centre take great pride in her achievements and impeccable record of service to the state of Kentucky, as well as to her alma mater.”
In 1994 Luallen was named as a Distinguished Alumna by Centre and four years later was elected to the Board of Trustees. For the Board, Luallen serves on the Honorary Degree and Nominations Committee, the Finance and Executive Committee, and chairs the Development and Public Affairs Committee. Her role as the chair of this committee is now incredibly important as Centre begins its Third Century Campaign, since the Development and Public Affairs Committee will play an active role.
Her current work has become particularly important to Luallen since they allow her to work with “the next generation of leaders.”
“It is up to our generation to mentor, to support, to encourage the next generation of leaders for Kentucky,” Luallen said during her induction ceremony. “If people of good will and integrity continue to step forward … and if those of us serving today can all put aside our differences to truly strive for the common wealth, then we will together secure a brighter future.”
Despite her very busy schedule, Luallen also serves in several volunteer positions including work on the boards of the Kentucky Historical Society and the Louisville Downtown Development Corporation.
“It is hard to imagine that Governor Beshear could have found a more experienced or capable person to serve as his Lieutenant Governor,” Vice President for College Relations Richard Trollinger said. “Crit Luallen is simply one of the most capable people I know.”
Commencement for the Centre Class of 2015 will take place on Sunday, May 24 in Newlin Hall.