Bryan College Welcomes Governor Bill Lee to Ninety-Eighth Commencement

Friends and family members gathered in the Triangle May 4th to witness Bryan College’s 98th Commencement Ceremony. Tennessee’s fiftieth governor, Bill Lee, served as the keynote commencement speaker.

A seventh-generation Tennessean, Governor Lee resides in Franklin with his wife, Maria. After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, he returned home to join the family business his grandfather started in 1944, the Lee Company. In 1992, he assumed the role of president. Under his leadership, the company has grown into a comprehensive facilities solutions and home services company that now employs more than 1,200 individuals and has won numerous awards for work culture and business accomplishments. He is an active member in his local church, Grace Chapel, as well as a devoted father and grandfather.

The governor gave a moving testimony regarding his own faith journey and the loss of his first wife. He quoted extensively from Job, reflecting on God’s confidence in Job as a man of God, even despite tragedy.

“My prayer for each one of you,” he concluded, “is that you go from here and you walk through life with an eye on the prize. Don’t look to the left and don’t look to the right, but remind yourself of where you’re headed, and know who you are and never veer from it. And the favor of God will follow you all the days of your life.”

In total, 151 degrees were awarded: 23 masters, 122 bachelors, and 6 associates. Timothy Hostetler received the Highest Scholastic Record award, an honor that goes to the senior who achieves the highest GPA with at least 112 completed semester hours. Timothy Hostetler was also a recipient of the faculty-nominated P.A. Boyd Award, as was Hollen Christensen. Grace Graves and Caleb Morgan received the award for Most Progress. The Faithfulness and Loyalty award was presented to Gage Goddard and Rebekah Runner. 

Timothy Hostetler served as the student commencement speaker for the graduating class, providing a time for seniors to reflect on their accomplishments and progress over the last four years. “I challenge you… to be humble, people-loving servants in your homes and the local church, and in the desperately needy world. When you live this way, God will be glorified. You will be satisfied. And you will truly be living with the motto – Christ above all.”

President Stephen Livesay recognized two retiring staff and faculty during the ceremony: Dr. Ron D. Petitte and Dr. David Luther. The graduating class of 1969 were also recognized by Dr. Livesay for reaching the 50th anniversary of their own undergraduate graduation.

Congratulations to the Class of 2019, and may God bless your endeavors as you seek to lift ‘Christ Above All’!

You can view photos and video from graduation on our Facebook page.


Bryan Graduates one hundred thirty two in commencement 2018 ceremonies

Graduating senior Shania Rogers, SGA president, cheers on fellow graduates during 2018 commencement.
Graduating senior and SGA president Shania Rogers cheers on fellow graduates during 2018 commencement.

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.”

COMMENCEMENT AWARDS

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.

  • Emily Bell
  • Stephen Ricketts

Highest Scholastic Record:

  • Chesney Brakhage – 4.0

Most Progress:

  • Emily Teft
  • Kevin Roenpage

Faithfulness and Loyalty Award:

  • Chava Green
  • Stephen Ricketts

Bryan College to stream graduation online May 5

April 30, 2018 – Bryan College will stream the upcoming graduation ceremony live on the Bryan website. The Bryan College Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 5th, on the Dayton Campus at 9:30 AM. Over one-hundred and thirty undergraduate and graduate students from the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Adult and Graduate Studies will be honored during the event. In the case of inclement weather, the services will be moved to Rudd Auditorium. 

Abigail Brown, a senior business administration: management major from Adams, Tenn., will be the senior class speaker. Dr. Ken Hanna, president of Bryan College from 1986 – 1993, will be the guest speaker. The ceremony will be streamed live for those who are unable to attend but wish to view the celebration.

View the live commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 5th beginning at 9:30 AM.


Bryan Confers 100 Degrees at December Commencement

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.


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