Commencement Speaker Finds Community at EKU

Published on December 15, 2021

As Eastern Kentucky University graduate Alex Childers was looking for a school to finish her bachelor’s degree, she grew concerned she would be unable to create the meaningful connections she longed for when she previously attended a community college and another in-state institution. 


As she voiced these concerns to her boss and her father, both EKU alums, they encouraged her to take a closer look at EKU.


“I could feel a sense of community in the stories they both told me,” Childers said. "So I toured campus, talked to advising and made the decision to come to Eastern -- all within a week and a half.” 


Childers shared her story with fellow graduates during the 2021 Fall Commencement Ceremonies for the colleges of Business and Justice, Safety, & Military Science, held December 3. 


Not knowing much about the Richmond area, she decided to apply for a student worker position in the College of Business dean’s office, mainly because of its location to all her classes and because her father indicated that on-campus employers are more willing to work around class schedules. 


Moving to EKU was still a little nerve-wracking for Childers, though. She did not want a repeat of the other two campuses she attended. But she was pleasantly surprised.



“The encouragement and support I received from professors, administrators and other students was amazing,” she said. “It was that community -- that sense of belonging that I hadn’t felt at the previous schools I had attended. I felt like I was home.” 


She mentions how her professors not only challenged her but were always there to guide and provide needed answers. They were not only interested in her academically but interested in her personally. 


“These small conversations I had with different professors helped solidify that I was meant to be at Eastern,” she said. “It was refreshing to be in a space where it’s so obvious that the professors care about the success of their students.” 


Conversations about school, life and the job-hunting experience with faculty and staff will always be remembered and appreciated, she said. 


Childers accepted a job offer with the Lexington office of Auto-Owners Insurance and will serve as a personal injury protection claims adjuster. 


EKU recognized 1,341 degree candidates from its six colleges during its fall commencement ceremonies held December 3-4.