At the May 2015 commencement ceremonies 110 North Carolinians graduated from Campbell University, Gardner-Webb University, Southeastern, Midwestern and Southern Baptist theological seminaries with religious degrees at the masters and doctorate levels.
Presidents and keynote speakers offered sage advice to graduates at each of the schools on what to focus on as they move forward in their ministries and careers. In keeping with their nickname, “The Great Commission Seminary,” Daniel Akin challenged graduates at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with Jesus’ last words in Matthew 28:18-20 in his May 15 commencement address. He highlighted God’s sovereign power, plan and promise.
“As you go and do what God has called you to do, you need to daily continue to acknowledge His authority,” Akin said. “Now that you are in Christ you have access to His authority and power.”
Campbell University’s May 8 ceremony was bittersweet as president Jerry Wallace made his last commencement address before retirement … He told the class of 2015 they will always have a special place in his heart.
“You are the last class that will bear my name on your diplomas,” Wallace told the students. “So we are always bonded together. Don’t you let me down, and I’ll try not to let you down.”
At the Gardner-Webb University May 9 commencement exercises, several students were chosen as keynote speakers. Elizabeth Hope Arnold of Drexel, who earned a master of divinity in biblical studies, offered a speech during the ceremony. She shared her thankfulness for the opportunity to fully embrace the Gardner-Webb experience. “From the first day of class, it was apparent that we would not all think alike, but we began to understand that our identity as the Kingdom of God does not depend on our uniformity, but rather on our love for one another,” Arnold said. “Today, we celebrate our success, the accomplishment we could not have obtained without each other. I am profoundly grateful for this community of faithful, loving people and the privilege to walk alongside them as friends.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by Emily Blake, editorial aide for the Biblical Recorder.)