OXFORD -- Oxford College recently held its 167th commencement exercises on the college green.
The school graduated its largest class ever of more than 400 graduates, who marked the end of their time at Oxford and continuance on to Emory University's Atlanta campus for the completion of their undergraduate degrees.
Beginning with the traditional processional of special guests, faculty and graduates, the ceremony was led by Emory University's official bagpiper playing The Emory and Old St. Andrews March and wearing the colors of Emory University and the University of St. Andrews, Emory's sister university in Scotland.
Graduates were sent into the next phase of their academic career with an address delivered by Zoe Hicks, immediate past chair of the Oxford Board of Counselors. In her remarks, Hicks congratulated the Class of 2012 on helping bring Oxford to a new level, proving that the college could grow its enrollment without sacrificing the close-knit community that is one of Oxford's hallmarks or compromising the quality of its facilities or instruction. She admonished them to be, in the words of Gandhi, the change they want to see in the world.
In addition to the awarding of diplomas to the 2012 graduates, the ceremony included the announcement of two of Oxford's most prestigious awards. Khatdija Meghjani of Fayetteville was the winner of the 2012 Eady Sophomore Service Award. Dean Joe Moon presented the award, commending Meghjani for her work as a Bonner Leader, Freshman Council member and Peer Assistant Leader while maintaining high academic achievement.
The winner of the 2012 Emory Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching was William Cody, PhD, professor of political science, who joined Oxford in 1990. Dean Kent Linville presented the award, citing his effective instructional work with students and his enrichment of Oxford's curriculum. Cody authored Oxford's honor code and oversaw its implementation through his advisement of the Honor Council for two decades.
Special commencement guests were members of the Oxford College Class of 1962, known as Gold Robes. The fiftieth anniversary of their Oxford graduation makes them members of Corpus Cordis Aureum (Golden Corps of the Heart), and members of this class were in the processional, wearing gold robes to denote their milestone.
Alumni in attendance from the Class of 1961 or earlier classes-a group known as the Golden Eagles-wore gold cords, signifying their status.