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Release date: January 15

Wayland graduates encouraged during commencement ceremony

Sheriff David Gutierrez gives commencement speechLubbock County Sheriff David Gutierrez urged graduates of Wayland Baptist University to remember the key elements of success in commencement ceremonies held Dec. 8 in Harral Auditorium.

A 1992 graduate of Wayland's Lubbock campus, Gutierrez encouraged graduates to hold fast to the ingredients in the recipe of success. He named education as the first but added it was only a foundation.

"The degree doesn't make you who you are, it allows you to have opportunities and open doors you wouldn't even be able to approach," he said. "I look at my mentors and wonder what it is that made them able to succeed and move forward. It was not only education but a strong commitment to God. They knew there was more to life."

Gutierrez also urged the graduating class to develop character traits that he said were indicative of successful persons, listing trustworthiness, responsibility, loyalty, giving their best, thinking before acting, respect, open-mindedness and being a good citizen among many others. Those traits, he said, would help them overcome life's challenges and rise above it all.

"Another key to success in life," he added, "is letting go, letting God take control of your life. He will honor the desires of your heart."

Senior Bessie Ann Reed of Canadian presented the student address, noting the great changes that have occurred since the graduating class first enrolled and giving credit to those that helped them achieve this milestone. Reed was later presented the plaque for being the Highest Ranking Senior, finishing her degree with a 4.0 grade point average. An education major, Reed was a member of the track team, chosen Freshman Student of the Year and is a founding member of Kappa Delta Pi, an education honor society.

Fifty-eight diplomas were awarded during the ceremony, ranging from master's to associate's degrees.