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May 7, 2018 – On May 5, a mild and overcast morning, the Class of 2018 proudly turned their tassels as Bryan College conferred upon them their well-earned degrees. College president Dr. Stephen D. Livesay charged them with “honoring the motto of your alma matter, “Christ above all. For as you honor and live out that motto you honor Bryan College and all who have gone on before you representing this college throughout the world. And as you do so, you give encouragement and support to all who continue on in this ministry at Bryan.”
The morning ceremonies featured Abigail Brown as the senior class commencement speaker. Miss Brown spoke with poise and wit and reflected on the class of 2018’s time at Bryan College. Also speaking was Dr. Kenneth Hanna, former Bryan College president, who reflected on his time at Bryan College and encouraged the graduates to finish strong. A total of one hundred thirty two degrees were bestowed in the School of Arts and Sciences and School of Adult and Graduate Studies, including two Master of Arts in Christian Ministry degrees, six Master of Business Administration degrees, three Master of Education degrees, 65 Bachelor of Science degrees, 32 Bachelor of Arts degrees, 20 Bachelor of Business degrees, one Associate of Arts degree, and three Associate of Science degrees.
During this exciting weekend Bryan also welcomed back many alumni from the Class of 1968, who were honored as “Golden Grads,” receiving commemorative diplomas from Dr. Livesay during the commencement ceremony.
Alumni Director Paulakay Hall ’84 remarks, “make your life count, let your light shine… and make a difference Bryan lions. Welcome as our newest members of a priceless link in a golden chain of Bryan alumni.”
P.A. Boyd Prizes: Awarded to the seniors whose principles and character have secured for them the highest degree of influence over their fellow students.
December 18, 2017 – On Friday, Dec. 15, new graduates of the School of Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) and the School of Arts and Sciences celebrated as Bryan College conferred 100 degrees on them, with 12 candidates for the Master of Business Administration degree; 2 for the Master of Arts degree; 8 for the Master of Education degree; 76 for Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Business Administration degrees; and 2 for the Associate of Science degree. In addition, 18 August graduates walked that night.
During the service Dr. Vaughn Cardona led the audience and graduates in singing “Joy to the World” and Mrs. Kim Keck sang “May the Road Rise Up.” Afterward, commencement speaker Chief Master Sergeant Mark A. Harris (senior enlisted leader for the Tennessee National Guard) spoke to the graduates. CMSgt Harris shared his testimony, a life story of God’s provision, comfort, and healing. He began, “I’d like to say how much I deeply respect and appreciate Bryan College as an institution of higher learning, for providing our community with a Christian worldview education. The mission statement of educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world sets the tone and expectation and standards – not only for the faculty, but also for the students and community.”
CMSgt Harris went on to applaud the Class of 2017 for their perseverance and their ability to overcome life’s obstacles. “Thank you for keeping the course as you accomplished this degree of higher education! I also would push you to not stop now,” he said. “Never stop trying to produce and develop your professional skill sets, your educational background, and your leadership skills. Never stop.” He then pointed out that believers never “graduate” from serving the Lord, then challenged the graduates to go out with the goal of reaching others for Christ.
Bryan College President Stephen D. Livesay remarked, “The fear of the Lord, the Scripture says, is the beginning of wisdom. My congratulations to you! I pray God’s best for you in the days to come.”
Written by Chloe Ann Townsend ’13, advancement writer and editor.