LBW announces Class of 2024 commencement speakers

Published 9:15 am Saturday, May 4, 2024

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LBW Community College will welcome two speakers at commencement on Friday, May 10, 2024: Chief Warrant Officer Four (Retired) Eugene M. Murphy and Auburn University Professor Dr. Leslie Ann Cordie.

CW4 (Ret) Eugene Murphy will address students at the 10:00 a.m. commencement for those earning an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) or Certificates.

A graduate of Bolivar Central High School, Murphy enlisted in the Army in March 1995. He continuously served in the enlisted ranks for three years until his graduation from Warrant Officer Candidate School and subsequent appointment to Warrant Officer One in July 1998. He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer Four in 2017 after 22 years of military service.

Murphy holds a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. A few of his many distinguished service awards and decorations include the Air Medal with Valor, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, as well as an Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat Action Badge, Senior Army Aviator Badge, and the Air Assault Badge, amongst others.

Aside from family and faith, Murphy’s greatest passion is helping others and giving back.

“Doors have been opened for me at different times in my life, and I didn’t get to where I am without someone taking a chance on me,” he said. “I strive daily to do the same for others.”

He is the Senior Army Instructor for the Junior Reserves Office Training Corps (JROTC) and primarily responsible for four different high school programs, including Pleasant Grove, Hueytown, McAdory and Oak Grove High School.

The afternoon commencement speaker, Dr. Leslie Cordie, is an Associate Professor in Adult Education and an affiliate faculty member with the University Writing Center at Auburn University.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD in Adult Education and Technical Communication from Colorado State University.

Cordie has held board positions with the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE), and editorial positions with Adult Learning Journal and the Journal of Global Education and Research. She is a Fulbright Scholar with active international collaborations in the West Indies, Ireland, the UK and Asia.

Her specialties include instructional and curricula design, professional development, and distance learning. Cordie has over 25 years of experience working and consulting in academic, business, and military environments.

“The College looks forward to hosting these dynamic speakers for graduation,” said LBW President, Dr. Brock Kelley. “I know our students will be inspired by each of their stories along with their commitment to education and fostering student growth.”

LBW’s Career Technical Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 10 at 10 a.m., and the Academic Transfer Ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. at the Kiwanis Community Center located in Andalusia.