Troy University awarded its first doctorates and held one of the larger commencement ceremonies in its history, as approximately 650 students received diplomas in two ceremonies in May at Sartain Hall on the Troy Campus.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice program was launched in 2009 to augment associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, attempting to fill a shortfall in Alabama for both practicing nurses and nurse educators.
TROY Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., paused during the awarding of degrees to commemorate the historic moment.
“We are privileged to witness an historic milestone in the life of Troy University as we award our first ever doctoral degrees,” Dr. Hawkins said. “This first doctoral program was the realization of a long-held dream for the Board of Trustees, our faculty and our alumni. Today, we celebrate with our first doctoral graduates. I commend these students and hope that we will always remember the importance of this day.”
Receiving doctorates were: Kelli Cleveland of Troy, Colette Greer Daniel of Columbus, Ga., Rosalind Harris of Montgomery, Kim Hasbach of Midland, Ga., Earline Rogers of Montgomery, Tracey Shannon of Selma, Kelli Whitted of Cataula and Candace Wortham of LaGrange, Ga.
Kelli Cleveland, who officially received the University’s first doctoral degree, is a member of the University’s School of Nursing faculty.
“I was born and raised in Troy,” Cleveland said. “I received a scholarship for my undergraduate degree and I never thought about going anywhere else. I wanted to stay close to my family.”
Cleveland earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1996 and went on to receive her master’s degree from TROY in 2006. When TROY launched the DNP program, Cleveland knew she wanted to be a part of it.
“My heart told me to give this program a chance,” she said. “My other TROY experiences had been great, so I knew this would be no different.”
Through the years, Troy University has played a large role in Cleveland’s family.
“My dad, Delaney Kervin, graduated in 1961 with a degree in education, and my mother, Quintilla Kervin, also received a degree in education from TROY in 1963,” she said. “My brother, Jeff Kervin, followed in 1985 with a degree in business management, and my sister-in-law, Janet Ward Kervin, graduated in 1981 with a business administration degree with emphasis in marketing and then got her MBA in 1983. TROY has been our family home.”