Brescia holds commencement at RiverPark Center

The unspoken bond between students at Brescia University was evident as members of the Class of 2024 waited Saturday morning in the lobby of the RiverPark Center for the school’s commencement.

Kaylee Madewell was helping Paige Pollock adjust her mortarboard while talking like old friends. It was only after Pollock’s cap was in place that they officially introduced themselves to each other.

Pollock said it’s that kind of camaraderie that made her college experience special.

“I absolutely loved my time at Brescia,” she said. “It’s one of the best universities I’ve been to, and there were definitely a lot of memories made — lifelong memories.

“The school has excellent teachers, and they’re always going above and beyond to help every student.”

Pollock, who attended on a golf scholarship, graduated with a degree in psychology. She plans to go on to nursing school.

“This means so much,” she said of receiving her degree. “I’ve just been looking forward to this for years. All of the sleepless nights and crying over homework is finally done.”

Madewell, of Owensboro, was receiving her master’s degree in social work. She also had nothing but raves for her time at the school.

“Brescia has been wonderful; they’re very welcoming,” Madewell said. “In the social work program, they have a lot of the same values I carry in my practice and my career. I really liked that. They were very helpful. Anytime that I needed anything, the teachers were very helpful and offered encouragement. The encouragement from the Brescia staff and teachers is what I really liked.”

She received her diploma in December and is a therapist at Hope Counseling.

“I really love it,” she said.

Bowling Green’s Jerrius Borden came to Brescia on a basketball scholarship and earned a master’s in business administration. He plans to return home and do internships initially.

“Brescia was a nice environment to play basketball and study,” he said. “I liked it a lot.”

The Rev. Larry Hostetter, Brescia’s president, said the class will be remembered for its resiliency.

“The most obvious thing is that those that are in the undergraduate program that are finishing their bachelor’s degree, they started in the fall of 2020,” said Hostetter, referencing the COVID pandemic. “I just saw some pictures from their move-in day, and everybody was in masks. It was almost two years before I got to see what a lot of them looked like. So this class has demonstrated a great deal of resilience, a great deal of courage, making it through an incredibly difficult time in our history with the pandemic and all that meant for college students who had to undergo remote, learn online, adjust what they were used to, and they did it fantastically.

“So in many ways, today is a culmination of not only their work in education, but also their resilience. And it’s something they’re going to be able to take with them the rest of their lives.”