May 5, 2011-Belhaven University, formerly Belhaven College, celebrated its graduates’ many accomplishments during its spring graduation commencement ceremony. The graduation ceremony took place April 30 at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson, Miss.

A total of 294 enthusiastic Belhaven graduates stepped on stage to receive their diplomas. View the printed commencement program.

The commencement address, Aroma of the New, was given by artist, author and essayist Makoto Fujimura. Fujimura says, “Belhaven is making a statement; that the arts are fundamental to the core of higher education. The arts are not a peripheral luxury for the elite few, but a central necessity, how a civilization is to be defined, and how our humanity is to be restored. The arts, like the spring flowers all about Belhaven this day, bring the aroma of the New.”

In addition, Fujimura was presented with an honorary doctorate in recognition of his artistic career, as well as his contributions to leadership in the arts.

There were three special commencement awards presented. Charlotte Norwood accepted the Student Citizen Award and Jonathan Kalehoff went home with two special commencement awards, the Guy T. Gillespie Memorial Award and the Trustees’ Award.

Dr. Philip Kelly retired after 32 years of service and was honored as Faculty Emeritus during the ceremony. Dr. Kelly taught physics and chemistry at Belhaven and will remain a cherished part of the Belhaven family.