Schools with Baptist ties offer advice to graduates
    July 1 2014 by Emily Blake, BR Editorial Aide

    This year 1,986 students graduated with bachelors, associates and certificates from universities and colleges with North Carolina Baptist ties.
    Chowan University in Murfreesboro celebrated its 165th commencement ceremony with guest speaker, United States Senator for North Carolina, Richard Burr, on May 11 in the Helms Center. He spoke to 182 graduates.
    The College at Southeastern in Wake Forest honored 38 students graduating with associate and bachelor’s degrees May 16. “Look back at all you have done … as an offering to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” said Andy Davis, commencement speaker and senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Durham.
    At Campbell University in Buies Creek, 607 students earned bachelor’s degrees and 27 received associate degrees in the May and June graduation ceremonies at the main campus and the Camp Lejeune campus.
    Commencement speaker Karen McNeil-Miller, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, shared the stories of four Campbell graduates who faced challenging journeys to the commencement stage and encouraged them to enjoy one of the few days that would be “all about them.”


    BSC photo by Mike Creswell
    Chandler B. Black, left, of Greenville, S.C., adjusts the collar of Brent Burke of Canton, N.C., on June 6 while Eil Williams of Stanley, N.C., observes. The three were finishing associate degrees at Fruitland Baptist Bible College.

    Gardner–Webb University in Boiling Springs hosted commencement May 12 in the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center. There were more than 360 graduates of Gardner-Webb’s Degree Completion Program (formerly GOAL) and the traditional undergraduate program. Kaitlyn Elizabeth Spiro, a double major in political science and journalism from Sylva, N.C., shared thoughts on her years at Gardner-Webb in a commencement address. She drew wisdom from Mark Twain that was offered to her: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why,’” she quoted. “I know now that the day I find out why I was placed on this earth is yet to come. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. But this place – this important and transformative place – has given me more than I could have ever imagined. If you are unsure of where your path will lead, know that Gardner-Webb will always claim you.”
    Mars Hill University (MHU) had its spring commencement ceremonies May 10 in the Moore Auditorium. 121 students received bachelor’s degrees. Keynote speaker for the graduation was Dixon Free, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincolnton and current chair of the MHU board of trustees. Ebony Simpson, an art major from Wingate, was the traditional age student speaker for the graduation. The adult and graduate studies student speaker was Nathan Rice, a social work major from Asheville. The invocation was given by India Ellis, a business administration major from Spruce Pine.
    With a record 622 graduates, Wingate University graduated the largest class ever at the 118th commencement ceremony May 17 on the Academic Quadrangle. The class of 1964 celebrated its 50th anniversary by leading the 2014 class in the procession. N.C. Governor Pat McCrory gave the commencement. “Failure is a necessary ingredient of success,” McCrory told the audience of more than 5,500, “but only if one of the lessons it teaches is the ability to bounce back.”
    Fruitland Baptist Bible College in Hendersonville graduated 29 students in their May commencement service. They awarded seven associates, two diplomas of Christian ministry, five certificates of Christian leadership from the main campus and 15 certificates of Christian leadership from the Roanoke campus. Seven of the students graduated from the school’s Hispanic track. Pastor James Gailliard from the Word Tabernacle Baptist Church in Rocky Mount was the speaker. (See story.)

    7/1/2014 11:02:05 AM by Emily Blake, BR Editorial Aide | with 0 comments
    Filed under: N.C. Baptist schools, N.C. graduates

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