On Sunday, October 12th, at the conclusion of Parents Weekend 2014, Beacon College students and their families; staff and faculty; alumni; and also friends and supporters of the College; gathered at Lake Receptions in Mount Dora, Florida to honor and recognize the initial founders and early visionaries responsible for developing the Beacon we have today. Beacon’s first Founders Day event corresponds with a yearlong celebration of the College’s 25th anniversary, making it an ideal time to celebrate a new first in its history and to reflect on the past and look to the future.
President Hagerty opened the ceremony by welcoming the Beacon community, from those from the past whose direct involvement with the College may have ended years ago, to those whose connection to the College may just have begun. Dr. Hagerty reflected on the significant strides made over the past quarter century and provided a glimpse into the College’s promising future.
Chair of the Board of Trustees Mrs. Eileen Marinakis provided a brief overview of the history of the College, remarking on the singular mission that has driven all who have been connected with the College from the founders to the current community of like- minded individuals looking to the future. Marinakis noted, “Beacon College has been fortunate to be helmed by highly qualified educators, innovative and visionary thinkers who remained true to the mission of the College while striving for future development and growth.”
Author and former The Washington Post reporter Gary Karton was the featured speaker for this event, and he gave an inspiring speech about his own experiences with dyslexia and his growth as a writer. He began his speech by telling the crowd that being different is a good thing and that there is no one right way to do anything. Karton implored students to find their own path and risk failure because, “If you’re not afraid to fail, the possibilities are endless…There’s nothing cooler than chasing your dream.”
Watch a brief clip of Karton’s speech here.
On this occasion, twelve honorees were present to be recognized for their accomplishments. The honorees ranged from the founding parents, Pat and Patricia Latham, who are both accomplished lawyers, to the College’s founding and longest serving presidents, the College’s longest serving employee and faculty member, and members of the Board of Trustees who have been key contributors to the success of the College throughout the years.
See the entire list of honorees here.
The College was fortunate to have influential members of the Leesburg community, including Mr. Tim Sullivan, Lake County Commissioner, and Mr. Al Minner, Leesburg City Manager, join the festivities and add brief but meaningful comments to the ceremony. Ms. Prita Chhabra began the occasion with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, and she provided a musical interlude by performing her self-written song, “Unstoppable.”
Commenting on the day’s ceremony, President Hagerty had this to say: “The celebration of the 25th anniversary of the chartering of the College served as a very appropriate time to acknowledge and thank the visionaries and architects of the College that we know and celebrate today. I believe that no one could have departed Founders Day without being inspired and even awestruck by the devotion and hard work of the honorees.”
This event was generously sponsored by the Harper Family Charitable Foundation, Evergreen Construction Management, and the Economic Development & Tourism Department of Lake County Florida.
Letters of Recognition
ICUF Letter (ICUF)
LDA Letter (LDA)
Marco Rubio (Senate)
Rick Scott (Governor)