Commencement exercises feature address by alumnus and trustee emeritus C. Barry Montgomery
At Muskingum College's 160th Commencement held May 7, 313 students received their undergraduate degrees and heard 1959 Muskingum College alumnus C. Barry Montgomery deliver the commencement address, titled First Person Singular. Mr. Montgomery, a prominent Chicago trial attorney, is also a trustee emeritus of the college.
Mr. Montgomery earned his juris doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School in 1962. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Muskingum for more thirty years.
A founding partner of the law firm of Williams, Montgomery and John, Limited of Chicago, Mr. Montgomery has been recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the top ten litigators in the United States. He has been admitted to the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Illinois, the United States District Court of Appeals for the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Districts and for the District of Columbia. Mr. Montgomery is a respected scholar in the field of complex litigation, serving as editor for the International Association of Defense Counsel, authoring numerous publications on diverse legal subjects, teaching educational seminars and delivering scores of presentations throughout our nation.
His civic activities include serving as an elder, deacon, and trustee for the Presbyterian Church and as a director of the Presbyterian Home in Evanston, IL. He also has served as director of the Chicago chapter of the Explorer Scouts of America.
While at Muskingum, Mr. Montgomery majored in mathematics and philosophy, and minored in English and speech. He earned four varsity letters in football and was a member of the 1955 Ohio Conference Championship team. He was named to the 1958 All Ohio Conference first team and All Ohio first team, and received the William G. Moore Award as the Outstanding Senior Athlete.
He is the grandson of Muskingum College President J. Knox Montgomery, Sr., and nephew to Muskingum College President Robert N. Montgomery and Vice President J. Knox Montgomery, Jr. A total of 33 descendants of J. Knox Montgomery, Sr. and their spouses have attended the college.
In her remarks to the graduating class, Muskingum College President Anne C. Steele said, “As you leave these hills, you take with you the cornerstone of a Muskingum College education, which will serve you well and help shape your values and your character, just as it has so many before you.”
In his address, Mr. Montgomery told the graduates and those assembled, “College is something you complete, life is something you experience. You are America’s next, best generation—all you have to do is go out and prove it.”
Bonnie J. Taylor ’05 was chosen by her fellow students to represent the graduating class. The charge to the graduating class was presented by Professor of Psychology David R. Skeen.
The baccalaureate service was held at 10:00 a.m. Reverend Dr. J. Richard Hershberger, a 1954 alumnus of the college, delivered the sermon titled Beyond Barriers. He said, "The world is a vastly different place today than in the past, and you must decide whether you will spend your time erecting barriers, or moving beyond barriers to strive for understanding and unity.”
A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Dr. Hershberger has distinguished himself throughout his career as a minister and leader of the Presbyterian Church.
Earning a master’s of divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary, and a doctor of ministry at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, Dr. Hershberger served congregations in Colorado and Oklahoma. As part of his ministry in Oklahoma, he established an inner-city program that has become the Presbyterian Urban Ministry of the Indian Nations Presbytery.
Dr. Hershberger has served as Moderator of the Synod of the Sun and as Moderator of the Presbytery of Colorado. His commitment to education is reflected in his two terms as Dean of the Synod Leadership Schools, first in 1967 and again in 1973.
He has served on numerous boards, including the Boards of Trustees of World Neighbors, Infant Crisis Services and the Center for Psychotherapy, Education, and Spiritual Growth, where he was President of the Board. He is presently serving on the Institutional Review Board for Integris Hospitals.
While at Muskingum, Dr. Hershberger majored in history and minored in speech. He was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta honor society (History), Tau Kappa Alpha honor society (Forensics) O.O.O.O. (Senior Men), Pi Mu Alpha (Sophomore Men), and the 1953 TKA National Championship Debate Team.
Today, he resides in Oklahoma City with his wife, Nelda, and enjoys international travel. He has been a member of four National Championship teams in USA Volleyball and Senior Games competition, and was a member of the 65+ All American Team of 1998.
The college conferred honorary doctor of public service degrees to Dr. Hershberger and Mr. Montgomery.
Jacob D. Burnett ’05 read the scripture for baccalaureate.