PLAINVIEW — Wayland Baptist University celebrated its winter commencement Saturday afternoon with 73 masters and baccalaureate students receiving diplomas.
Charles Carr of Petersburg, Rebekah Brown of Aurora, Colo., and Christopher Kirby of Plano were each recognized for maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout their undergraduate careers. Carr received a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in business administration. Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts in English degree and Kirby received a Bachelor of Music degree, majoring in music education.
Dananai Semwayo, a political science major from Miami, Fla., gave the student address, challenging her fellow graduates to take care of their spiritual wellbeing. Semwayo said each person must deal with their mental, physical and spiritual health, and while college has definitely taken care of the mental aspect, and in some cases the physical as well, it is the spiritual that needs the most attention.
“The most important part of our lives is the spiritual part,” she said. “Striving to be better spiritually is tough. It’s not complicated, but it can be difficult.”
Semwayo said for her generation, it is difficult to focus on God’s wishes when there are so many outside influences trying to tell people how to “live like the world.” But, she said, it is important to live like Christ.
“It’s important that every day, we are peeling the pages of scripture just to get insight and wisdom from God’s word on how to do life better,” Semwayo said.
She challenged her classmates to walk, talk, think and love like Christ.
In his charge to the graduates, Dr. Paul Armes echoed Semwayo’s sentiments with three points:
Never underestimate an individual’s power to change the world
It does matter how people live; what they choose to believe about right and wrong; about faith and lack of faith.
Never underestimate the importance and impact of faith in Christ.
Dr. Armes used the biblical example of the young boy with five loaves and two fish through which, when entrusted to Jesus, 5,000 people were fed.
“Even seemingly insignificant gifts when placed in the hands of Christ have a way of working miracles,” he said.
“You’re receiving a gift — actually it’s something you’ve earned today. When you place that in God’s hands and pursue life in keeping with His dreams for you, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.”
Master of Arts in Counseling: Beau Bishop, Brownwood; Delfina Flores, Plainview; Carson Gerber, Canyon; Deana Hartshorn, Pampa; Jill Horne, Plainview; Trena Pritchett, Lubbock; Sandi Rose, Hobbs, N.M.; Samara Shields, Amarillo; Trae Sweatt, Canyon; Alan Wilson, White Deer.
Master of Arts in History: Stephanie Morgan, Portales, N.M.; Roberto Ortiz, Brownsville; David Sanders, Plainview.
Master of Arts in Management: Janice Wilson, Teachey, N.C.
Master of Business Administration: Melanie Cook, Plainview; Bryan Eguez, Humble; Santos Gamez, Jr., Brownfield; Michael Ivins, Idalou; James McKinnon, Lubbock; Kristine Posey, Plainview.
Master of Education: Stephen Johnston, Artesia, N.M.; Shawn Langston, Plainview; Carrie Scott, Petersburg.
Master of Public Administration: Ernesto Amaya, Lubbock.
Bachelor of Applied Science: Anthony Bates, Plainview; Charles Carr, Petersburg; Mandi Castillo, Plainview; Gina Flint, San Antonio; Brandy Haines, Plainview; Rashawn Hugg, Jamaica, N.Y.; Wendy Moralez, Plainview; Levonne Moreno, Houston; Jeff Pittman, Fort Worth; Edward Taragon, Eldoret, Kenya.
Bachelor of Arts with Honors: David Brosseau, Clovis, N.M.; Rachel Laue, Great Falls, Mont.
Bachelor of Arts: Katie Jo Bice, Lockney; Terri Brookins, Tulia; Rebekah Brown, Aurora, Colo.; Krista Campbell, Big Lake; Jesika Guittap, Kailua, Hi.; Angel Hernandez, Marble Falls; Sarah Johnson, Clear Lake Shores; Jessica Martinez, Twin Falls, Idaho; Caitlin McCulloch Williams, Lovington, N.M.; Valeria Pennington, Mesquite; Dananai Semwayo, Miami, Fla.; Laremy Simmons, Fort Sumner, N.M.; Julie Swift, Aledo.
Bachelor of Business Administration: Hildon Boen, Eldoret, Kenya; Isabel Carrillo, Guanajuato, Mexico; Caitlin Walker, Lubbock.
Bachelor of Christian Ministry: Nicholas Morales, Wichita Falls.
Bachelor of Music: Christopher Kirby, Plano; Victoria Wiley Tambunga, Irving.
Bachelor of Science with Honors: Michael Holubik, Lubbock.
Bachelor of Science: Courtney Chambers, Spearman; Hunter Green, Wolfforth; Jacob Kemmer, Plainview; Kyli Leal, Smyer; Leandria Lee, Tyler; Clinton Roberts, Grand Prairie; Brittany Stender, Phoenix, Ariz.
Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Nallely Carrillo, El Paso; Victoria Chavez, Plainview; Courtney Floth, Henderson, Nev.; Kendra Foree, La Porte; Meagan Gausin, Plainview; Joseph Huckabee, Plainview; Lani Johnston, Canyon; Morgan Odom, Wichita Falls; Magdalena Zuniga, Plainview.
Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education: Susan Ramnarine, Richmond Hill, N.Y.