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Release date: December 16, 2006

Dagnel encourages WBU graduates to persevere through life's challenges

PLAINVIEW – Tackling the challenges and obstacles in the world requires strength, urged the Rev. Bobby Dagnel in his address at the December Commencement ceremony at Wayland Baptist University on Saturday. Dagnel, pastor of First Baptist Church in Lubbock, encouraged the 62 graduates to keep their endurance levels up for the road ahead.

              “As you go out into the world, as the world seeks to redefine you, I compel you to stay strong, stay faithful, persevere and endure,” he said. “If you want to make a mark, make a difference and realize the possibilities of what might come to you, it will only happen as you persevere and endure the obstacles and do your best, as the call of Christ is placed on your life.”

              Dagnel also urged graduates to continue learning and building knowledge in order to face the challenges of the next part of their journey, what he called “the end of the beginning.”

              “The world will try to impose itself on your life, so be longsuffering, and as Paul told the church in Thessalonica, ‘do not grow weary in doing good,’” he said.

              Student speaker Rohan Thompson encouraged his classmates to seek the motivation within themselves to do their best and excel in life.

              “External motivation determines the ‘if,’ but internal motivation determines the ‘when,’” said Thompson, a business major from Barbados and a five-time All American on the Pioneer track and field team. “Ask yourself who or what you’ve become during your time here. Continue to place God in the center of all your actions and proceed into the world with faith, not fear.”

              Five seniors were recognized as having the highest grade point average in their class, all graduating with a perfect 4.0. Honorees included Joshua Harris of Gruver, Katie Jo Moore of Sunray, Amy Grisham Moss of Plainview, Michael-Shane Varner of Plainview and Amber Williams of Lorenzo. All received plaques for their accomplishments.

              Joe Provence, who retired in June after a 40-year career with the university, was honored during the ceremony with a plaque marking his new title of Emeritus Director of Alumni Services. Provence held the alumni position for 18 years.

              Those earning diplomas in the ceremony include the following, listed with their hometown and major:

              Master’s Degrees: Master of Arts in Management - Nelda Adcock VanHoose of Plainview; Master of Business Administration – FatJon Bako of Lubbock, Emily Threatt Gunther of Altus, Okla.; Master of Christian Ministry – Jason Stone of Dimmitt; Master of Education – Jason W. DeGray of Dexter, N.M., Hillary Beth Hester of Plainview, and Vickie Watkins Hughes of Plainview.

              Bachelor of Arts: Lisa Marie Angel of Wylie, theatre; Elida Balderas of Lockney, psychology; Noelia Balderas of Lockney, Spanish education; Curtis Michael Beeman of Lovington, N.M., mass communications; Cassie R. Britt of Shallowater, English/Language Arts; Sonya L. Britton of Plainview, psychology; Elizabeth Smith Burke of Fairbanks, Alaska, psychology; Jill Wyman Crook of San Antonio, psychology; Harris Ramsey Evans of Shallowater, religion; Paul Curtis Finley of Perryton, mass communications; Cash Thomas Fortune of Anson, social studies education; Melissa Gonzalez of Plainview, history; Joshua Lee Harris of Gruver, music; Laura Harris of Albuquerque, N.M., mass communications; Blair Marie Hipple of Torrejon de Ardoz, Spain, history education; Jaclyn Tay Jack of Tulia, English; Brandon Blain Miller of Lubbock, criminal justice; Katie Jo Moore of Sunray, English/Language Arts; Jennifer LeAnne Rutherford of Plainview, theatre; Valentina Salazar of Lockney, Spanish education; Jason Paul Smith of Lubbock, speech/English; Dustin Daniel Stephens of Dallas, criminal justice; and Michael-Shane Varner of Plainview, sociology/justice administration.

              Bachelor of Business Administration: Brandon Robert Ahrens of Hale Center, economics and finance; Joyce Esosa Ekhator of Lubbock, business administration; Patricia Ann Fuentes of Plainview, health care administration; Nicole Elizabeth Hastey of Plainview, business administration; Rohan R. Thompson of Bridgetown, Barbados, management and marketing; and Amy Nicole Wallace of Haskell, business education.

              Bachelor of Music: Travis Glen McCullough of New Deal, music education instrumental; Amy Kathleen Moss of Plainview, music education instrumental; and Jeremy Allen Walker of Crosbyton, church music.

              Bachelor of Science: Addie Rochelle Lee of Conroe, biology; Melissa Menchaca of Plainview, biology; Jorge Daniel Rubio of Fort Worth, physical education; Michael Ruiz of Petersburg, physical education; Micah Edwin Shuler of Fort Worth, biology; Amber Lynnea Williams of Lorenzo, biology; and Matthew James Wyatt of Tulia, biology.

              Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Tammy Lyn Baker of Plainview, elementary education; Brattany LeChele Douglas of Odessa, elementary education; Amy Rebecca Platte of San Antonio, elementary education; Victoria Gallardo Rios of Plainview, elementary education; Amanda Sue Rusher of Sugar City, Colo., elementary education; Tia Lee Speed of Borger, elementary education; and Amber Damaris Sutton of Lubbock, mathematics.

              Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education: Eric Jonathan Chadis of Lubbock, human services/criminal justice; Rose Ann Chavez of Plainview, occupational education; Samuel Gallardo of Plainview, business administration; Kimberley Danette Gentry of Plainview, human services; Dalton Wayne Jennings II of Plainview, business administration; Mario Solis Landeros of Plainview, human services/criminal justice; Derek B. Smith of Plainview, human services/criminal justice; and James David Speed of Jal, N.M., occupational education/mathematics.