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PULASKI, Tenn. – Members of the Class of 2019 entered into the next phase of their lives during Martin Methodist College’s (MMC) 148th Commencement on Saturday, May 4.

Along with degrees conferred to the graduates, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Judy Cheatham presented several significant honors as part of the ceremony. The President’s Award, given to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average, was presented to Tori Williams of Elkmont, Ala., who received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.

The 2017 Fred E. Ford Exemplary Teaching Award was given to two members of the faculty for outstanding contributions both inside and outside of the classroom. This year’s recipients were Dr. Grace Meier, professor of education, and Dr. George Cheatham, professor of English.

Dr. Steve West, professor of English, Dr. Johnny Jackson, professor of mathematics, and Mrs. Gail Newton, director of career services, were honored as 2019 retirees at the ceremony. West and Jackson will have classrooms named in their honor, and Newton served as the inspiration for the newly-established Gail Newton Distinguished Service Award, an award to be presented annually to a staff member whose work and commitment demonstrate exceptional qualities through special contribution in enriching the educational mission of the College. Among the three, they had spent 119 years in the classroom.

The first recipient of The Gail Newton Distinguished Service Award was presented to Ms. Rhonda Clinard, who has spent her 30-year career in the business office, moving from associate controller to controller to further.

“My heart is full of pride for our graduates,” said President Mark La Branche. “Graduation day brings to fruition all of the hard work and dedication our students put into completing their degrees. I pray God’s blessing on them as they take their unique place in this world and live out their God-given calling.”

MMC celebrates its Sesquicentennial year (150th) beginning in August 2019.

Martin Methodist College, founded in 1870, is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Martin Methodist offers baccalaureate degrees in 39 programs of study that

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