Speakers urge graduates to aim for higher calling of success

PLAINVIEW - Commencement speaker Barbara McAninch encouraged the newest group of Wayland Baptist University graduates to see their commencement as the beginning of their futures and to let their newfound knowledge lead them to success.

"As the new generation of hope for our country, hold on to your ideals. and hang onto the moral standards that your families, your places of worship and Wayland have given you," said McAninch, chief legal officer for Snelling and Snelling, Inc. of Dallas and a 1969 WBU graduate.

McAninch urged the graduates to find a career they will love, have a passion for the work they do each day, surround themselves with others who share their ideals and stand for behavior that is right and fair.

She also asked graduates to not be afraid to help others and be helped by others as well, claiming, "We are interdependent in this world."

Graduate Mike Smith of Kingwood presented the student address, urging his fellow graduates to seek out that definition of success that follows God's calling rather than the world.

"We are called to more than our own comfort," Smith said. "I have trouble accepting the idea of the American dream in terms of wealth and success when you look at it in terms of discipleship. God calls us to lose our lives for his gain.

"Our wealth, our comfort and our pursuits of happiness must be subject to our Lord's glory."

During the Saturday afternoon ceremony, Dr. Paul Armes, university president, recognized Braxton Edwards, Lydia Martin and Raelene Trudeau for being the highest-ranking graduates. All three maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout their college careers.

An Amarillo native, Edwards has been active in International Choir, Spirit and other musical groups while on campus and earned several achievement awards in music. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree in church music.

Martin, an El Paso native, earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies in mathematics. She is a member of Alpha Chi national honor society and Kappa Delta Pi education honor society, Gold Key Honor Society and was active in Baptist Student Ministries.

Trudeau, a Plainview native, was noted as an outstanding student in chemistry and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. She participated in the Summer Institute in Anatomy at Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Chemistry at the University of Oklahoma in 2002.

Approximately 120 students earned diplomas at the master's or bachelor's level during the afternoon ceremony.