By Sarah Pride
Patrick Henry College
Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Attorney General and PHC's 2012 Commencement speaker
With Commencement exercises a little over a week away, the Patrick Henry College class of 2012 is winding up its last papers and completing internships or preparing for a final series of exams. Across social media, graduating seniors are marveling at the transition to come, like Megan Conlon’s Tuesday tweet: “12 days, 3 papers, and 1 final away from graduation from @patrickhenrycol.” Or Ardee Coolidge on Facebook: “’The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy’ -- just finished my last class and turned in my last paper!”
Many are already slotted into places at top law schools for the next fall, like Alex Harris, who is headed to Harvard University. Some have jobs lined up; others are still looking. But one unique characteristic of the over 55 young people who comprise the class of 2012, according to Resident Director Jensen Near (Government, ’10), is the depth of leadership they brought to PHC during their stay.
“About half of the class bonded in their first few weeks on campus,” he notes. “Relationships have only blossomed since, as people stepped up into leadership across campus with a very unified front.”
While most classes are led by a handful of strong individuals, Near observes that this group had “upward of 20 leaders.” Underclassmen can recall the remarkably congenial student body presidential race conducted by Alan Carrillo and Russell York, Sydney Thomas and the speakers she brought in for the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, Dana Blauvelt organizing the Government: APP retreat, Robert Saunders initiating the Christmas Ball, and so many others. Top forensics competitors are too numerous to list, not to mention individuals who displayed initiative in entrepreneurship and filmmaking. Every graduate has left a mark.
Meanwhile, families and friends prepare to make the trip to PHC for the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies, May 11 and 12. Commencement ceremonies, featuring Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as the speaker, will be webcast live at 11:00 a.m. ET from the Barbara Hodel Student Life Center. Mr. Cuccinelli has served Virginia as Attorney General since November, 2009.
He was a member of the Virginia Senate from 2002 until 2009, and as a state senator, Ken Cuccinelli led the fight to defend constitutional rights, stop tax increases, protect life and families, and keep Virginia a low-regulation and pro-business state. His experience as a small business owner and an attorney uniquely prepared him for his role in the General Assembly where he served on the influential Senate Courts of Justice Committee. Ken was also on the Transportation Committee, Local Government Committee, and the Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee.