Published: May 12, 2010 6:44 PM EDT

For the first time, the Edison State College commencement ceremony included students earning a baccalaureate degree in Education.  Just after the ceremony began, the Edison State College Board of Trustees, Faculty Senate and the Executive Vice President surprised Dr. Kenneth P. Walker with Edison State’s very first baccalaureate degree in Education. 


“Dr. Walker’s body of work exemplifies that of a true leader in education,” said Dr. Noreen Thomas, Executive Vice President and Lee Campus President.  “He has dedicated his personal and professional life to finding new pathways for students to reach their educational goals.  He is genuinely an advocate for expanding education.”


This is also the first time in the College’s 48-year history that an honorary degree has been awarded.


“Dr. Walker is a national leader in the community college baccalaureate movement.  It is because of his leadership Edison State College is able to offer bachelor degrees to our students,” said Mary Lee Mann, Edison State College Board of Trustee Member.  “This honor is a perfect match for his many accomplishments.”


“I am truly humbled and happily surprised,” said President Walker.  “I am blessed to work with such talented, considerate and bright people.  Together, our team of faculty, staff and administrators has been able to make higher education attainable for more students than was possible only a few years ago.  I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and for this meaningful honor.”   


Dr. Kenneth P. Walker joined Edison Community College in 1991.


“Edison State College is fortunate to have the astute vision Dr. Walker brings to the education,” said Dr. Randall Parrish, Edison State College Board of Trustee Chairman.  “We look forward to his continued leadership as we move into our upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations in 2012 and beyond.”