Wayland Holds Spring Graduation

Grad EmilyPLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University celebrated spring commencement on Saturday with 96 students taking part in a graduation ceremony in Hutcherson Center. 

Five students were recognized as the highest-ranking graduates in the Class of 2022, each graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Chloe Barham, a humanities major from Amarillo, Samuel Daily, an English and professional writing major from Pearland, Jodi Shea, a psychology major from Greeley, Colo., Michaela Phipps, a Christian ministry major from Artesia, N.M., and Emily Franklin, a religious education and mathematics major from Plainview, were each recognized for their academic achievements.  

Franklin, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Honors degree, served as the senior class speaker for the ceremony, challenging her fellow graduates to live in faith and experience the peace of God in uncertain times. The daughter of Lori and Dr. Scott Franklin, professor of mathematics at Wayland, Franklin said that starting with her decision to attend Wayland, the journey to graduation has been fraught with uncertainty. 

“I was afraid that if I went to Wayland, I would be taking the easy way out,” she said, changing her mind when she took a tour and experienced the commitment from faculty and staff. “I am at Wayland because God brought me here. I was afraid that I would make the wrong choice or do the wrong thing, but the whole time, God was supporting me with His hand.” 

Franklin drew from Psalm 37:23-24, the scripture voted on by the senior class, that states that the steps of man are established by God and even when man stumbles, God is there for support.  

“The truth is, we can have peace even in the worst of uncertainties, but we need to have faith to access that peace,” Franklin said. 

She challenged her classmates to carry faith with them as they start out in this new time of change and uncertainty, and to be a shining light for God in whatever career path they pursue. 

“I’m not saying that our challenges will disappear,” she said. “I simply believe that if we trust that God is who he says he is and does what he says he does, that our perspective will shift. If we trust that God takes pleasure in our way, we can trust that he leads us to goodness. And God is always leading us to impact the world for the better, for His glory, and he has given each of us unique talents and a passion to do just that.” 

Wayland President Dr. Bobby Hall echoed Franklin’s sentiments. 

“You are a member of a class that was minted in the most unusual, extreme and challenging circumstances that came from the pandemic,” he said. “Whatever your next adventure in life, you will need the insight, understanding and discernment that you will find only in God. You’ll yearn for what is right, just and fair in a world that is often not interested at all in those values. I hope throughout your life, you will follow today’s scripture from Psalm 37, because I will promise you, the Lord will hold you in the palm of his hand.” 

The Class of 2022 

Doctor of Management: Benjamin Alexander, Lubbock; Kyle Henson, Graham 

Master of Arts in Counseling: Argyanna Bolton, Plainview; Safia Bright, Plainview; Elizabeth Castillo, Plainview; Valeria Lizette Hernandez, Plainview; Zkia Johnson, Idalou; Cynthia Palacios, Amarillo; Marisa Sullivan, Lubbock; Olga Torres, Lubbock 

Master of Arts in Criminal Justice: Soledad Diaz, Plainview 

Master of Arts in English: Jason Smith, Plainview; Jessica Thornhill, Plainview 

Master of Arts in Humanities: Sequoia Elliott, Silver Spring, MD 

Master of Arts in Human Services: Dorothymarie Beltran, Tucumcari, NM; Audriana Trevino, Plainview; Holli Anne Wauson, Keller 

Master of Business Administration: Michael Acevedo, Abernathy; Lela Lively, Plainview; Randee Sepeda, Plainview; Sebastien Tremulot, La Clusaz, France 

Master of Education: Rhoda Morales, Floydada 

Master of Public Administration: Eric Omiti, Grand Prairie 

Bachelor of Applied Science: Rogelio Acosta, Plainview; LeAndra Amaya, Plainview; Adelina Chapa, Plainview; Gloymer Diaz, Valla Jaragua, Dominican Republic; Armeldo Gonzales, Jr., Plainview; Maggie Herndon, Madison, AL; Tamesha Jackson-Lawal, Henderson, NV; Karissa Jahay, Floydada; Molley Karpeh, Jr., Harbel, Liberia; Carlos Martinez, Las Vegas, NV; Amy Mendoza, Amarillo; Allison Muniz, Floydada; Mason Powers, Plainview; Colin Richardson, Amarillo; Mendi Scarborough, Plainview; Jenifer Still, Weatherford 

Bachelor of Arts: Caryssa Aguiree, Austin; Brennen Ballard, Plainview; Chloe Barham, Amarillo; Emily Coward, Austin; Samuel Daily, Pearland; Brandon Duarte-Garza, Reynosa, Mexico; Saiybree Gausin, Plainview; Andrew Gutierrez, El Paso; marco Magnoli, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Earnest Marshall, Jr., Planview; Jose Martinez, El Castillo La Isabela, Domincan Republic; Evan Puckett, Plainview; Daniel Romero, Plainview; Aaron Samaniego, Earth; Jode Shea, Greeley, Colo.; Jibrael Washington, Waco 

Bachelor of Business Administration: Daniel Abeyta, Belen, N.M.; Ariel Marquez, Bushland; Abigail Myers, Fairbanks, Alaska; Santiago Riano Bogota, Colombia; Lewis Richmond, Blackburn, England; Estella Rodriguez, Plainview; Garrett Saathoff, Hondo; Dawin Santana, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; John Sauceda, San Antonio; Zane Welborn, Amarillo; Skyler Whitten, Wichita Falls; Deng Bol Yol, Juba, South Sudan 

Bachelor of Christian Ministry: Matthew Davis, Newton, Kan.; Michaela Phipps, Artesia N.M. 

Bachelor of Fine Arts: William Bridgwater, Amarillo 

Bachelor of Music: Taylor Lindley, Pampa 

Bachelor of Science with Honors: Emily Franklin, Plainview  

Bachelor of Science: Praise Ayeni, Cambridge, United Kingdom; Vitoria Balieiro, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Tevia Bell, Amarillo; D’Andra Bundick, Killeen; Carlos Colon, Carolina, Puerto Rico; Joseph Colurciello, Lockhart; Jake Farley, Lubbock; William Glass, Floydada; Brisa Gonzalez, Plainview; Jacob Gouldie, Diana; Cheyenne Hill-Johnson, Stafford; Tatijana Markic, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Kaitlyn McCloud, Lubbock; Briana Moore, Odessa; Reginald Mouton, Killeen; Jayda Nelson, Amarillo; Brooklyn Nix, Lubbock; Thomas Rosen-St. John, Lahaina, Hawaii; Justine Sandoval, El Paso; Chante van Zyl, Port Alfred, South Africa; Daniel Vazquez, El Paso; Samuel Velasquez, Amarillo; Gregory Villavizar, La Agustina, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Chloe Winegeart, Pampa 

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Brook Quinones, Lovington, N.M.; Nicolas Quintero, San Antonio; Brittany Smerud, Lubbock 



Top Photo: Chloe Barham, a humanities major from Amarillo, is recognized as one of five highest-ranking graduates who earned her degree while maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Inset photo: Emily Franklin, a mathematics and religious education major from Plainview, receives her plaque in recognition of being named one of five highest-ranking graduates. Franklin also served as the senior class speaker.