One hundred ninety-nine students received diplomas and seven “Golden Grads” were recognized on the 50th anniversary of their graduation as Bryan celebrated its 82nd commencement May 7. Another 23, who are scheduled to receive their degrees in August, also were honored.
Graduates from the School of Arts and Sciences march to their seats as the commencement service begins May 7.Festivities began Friday afternoon, as members of the Class of 1961 met to catch up with each other and to tour the campus. Later, following a dinner in their honor, they prayed for the Class of 2011 at the conclusion of the new graduates’ Vespers service.
Vespers offered a time for seniors to reflect, with speakers Kelly Shannon, Drew Abercrombie, and Alison Young agreeing that their time at Bryan has changed them personally and as a group.
Academic Vice President Dr. Bradford Sample, standing in for President Dr. Stephen D. Livesay who was attending his daughter’s graduation from nursing school, told the class of 2011, “I hope that you are walking out our doors with a deeper faith in Jesus Christ and will live up to our motto, Christ Above All.”
In his graduation address for the School of Arts and Sciences, Andrew Zimmerman told his fellow graduates, “To have any possibility of making the vapor of life meaningful requires a death to self. The truth is that our life is far too valuable to waste it by hoarding it on ourselves. We must spend and give it away until there is nothing left.”
During the Adult and Graduate Studies commencement, Carrie Fitzsimmons, speaking for MBA graduates, said, “When I think about the past 18 months, I often view it in light of David. While the world gave me a list of ‘cannots,’ God gave me the strength and the courage to fight against unbelief—even when it came from myself. Today, we are here to celebrate a remarkable accomplishment because we faced a task head on and we won!”
Degree Completion Program speaker Christina Siebold challenged graduates to extend the support they received during their schooling to others. “Let us actively work to find those in our schools and communities and neighborhoods who need encouragement and support—those working to make a better life for themselves and their families just like we are. Let’s share with them the wisdom we have learned here at Bryan.”