Graduates urged to overcome challenges

PLAINVIEW – Borrowing from comedian David Letterman’s tradition, Dr. Travis Hart shared his Top 10 list of important lessons with the graduating class of Wayland Baptist University during his commencement address Saturday in Harral Auditorium.

Pastor of Plainview’s First Baptist Church and a member of the WBU board of trustees, Hart urged graduates to remember key life lessons as they head into their futures. His list included the following:

10. You cannot tell the direction of a train by looking at the tracks. Don’t forget your past, and don’t neglect your future.

9. Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate. Guard your relationships.

8. One-seventh of your life is lived on Monday. There will be difficulties in life.

7. Never wrestle with a pig. You’ll both be dirty and the pig will like it. 

“In life, you will have the choice of walking the low road or walking the high road,” Hart said. “Choose the high road every time.”

6. Don’t lose your sense of person. Ask “Who am I?” at various times in your life.

5. Don’t lose your sense of place. The past and future are key, but it is also important to know where you are now.

4. Laughter is a life raft in a sea of troubled waters. Laugh at yourself at least as much as you laugh at others.

3. Every choice in life has a consequence. Good choices have good consequences, and bad choices have bad consequences.

2. Keep learning. Stay teachable. 

“I have a friend who brags that he has not read a book since graduating college,” Hart shared. “I pity my friend.”

The No. 1 lesson Hart shared was for students to remember that they are created for God and not for themselves.

In her student address, Hale Center native Rosa Maria Padilla shared of overcoming challenges to earn her degree, becoming the first in her family to do so.

“By taking up the challenge of attending college, I am forever changing my family tree,” Padilla said. “I leave Wayland a better person today, as I know most of my fellow graduates leave better people.”

In one of the biggest graduating classes in recent years, 118 students received diplomas during the afternoon ceremony, with 26 graduating with honors. Thirteen students received graduate degrees, while the remaining 105 earned baccalaureate degrees in various fields.

Five students were honored as Highest Ranking Graduates, tied with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Billy Boone of Abilene, Jason Morgan of Plainview, Kevin Schaub of Pampa, Lucy Runner Thompson of American Falls, Idaho, and Tyler Topper of Plainview received plaques and special recognition for their academic achievement. Boone is a theatre and religion major who has been involved in 12 plays during his four years at Wayland. Morgan, an economics and finance major, has been involved in Students in Free Enterprise, while Schaub, a religion and English major, has been involved in Baptist Student Ministries and the Student Union Board. Thompson, a religious education and English major, has been involved in Ministerial Fellowship and the honors program. An economics and finance major, Topper has been involved in SIFE and in student government, serving as Student Body President this past year.

The following students received degrees during the ceremony, listed by degree and with specialization or major:

Master of Arts in Religion: Shelley Kim Watts Pond of Tulia; Santos Rodriguez of Plainview, and Debbie Ann Wiley of Plainview.

Master of Business Administration: Priscilla Edwards of Barbados, Human Resources Management; Robert Gibson of Plainview, Management; Jonathan Morgan of Plainview, Human Resources Management.

Master of Education: Alissa Carter of Plainview, Educational Administration; Jace Daily of Tulia, Secondary Education; Leah Dayton of Plainview, Educational Administration; Lori Franklin of Plainview, Instructional Technology; James Garrett of Arlington, Educational Administration; Paige Parker-Johnson of Matador, Elementary Education; Vickie Lynn Young of Plainview, Educational Administration.

Bachelor of Arts: Brad Andrews of Plainview, criminal justice; Billy Boone of Abilene, theatre/religion; Kyle Bueermann of Tahoka, religious education; Brandon Burrows of Amarillo, religious education/religion; Josh Caballero of Floydada, composite religion; Jennifer Combs of Portales, N.M., political science; Christopher Cox of Canadian, criminal justice; Josh Davis of Bledsoe, English/religious education; LeAudra Franklin of Lubbock, religion/religious education; Jennifer Garza of Olton, criminal justice; Adam Gibbs of Canyon, religion/English; Santos Guerrero of Olton, art; Paul Hamilton of Slaton, religion/religious education/history/English; Beth Henson of Lucas, religious education; Cenia Kila of Mililani, Hawaii, criminal justice; Whitney Lafferty of Cameron, criminal justice; Lara Manley of Plainview, art; Curtis Morales of Anton, art/English; Rae Odom of Dimmitt, political science; Emily Oshel of Alva, Okla., political science/criminal justice; Jennifer Parrish of Albuquerque, N.M., art; Byron Potter of Dalhart, history; Fernando Rincon, Jr. of El Paso, criminal justice; Matthew Rusher of Ordway, Colo., criminal justice; Kevin Schaub of Pampa, religion/English; Sarah Scott of Amarillo, music; Doug Shelton of Albuquerque, N.M., religious education; Landon Sims of Henrietta, history; Jennifer Sullivan of Plainview, psychology; Jonathan Sullivan of Farwell, religion; Christopher Thompson of Emory, religion; Lucy Runner Thompson of American Falls, Idaho, religious education/English; Cecilia Villa of Plainview, social studies; Donna Webb of Floydada, art education; Angie Wilson of Hobbs, N.M., psychology; Lucinda Ybarra of Plainview, criminal justice; and Josh York of Amarillo, religion.

Bachelor of Business Administration: Kayla Andersen of Lovington, N.M., accounting; Bryan Anderson of Anchorage, Alaska, management/marketing; Jerry Askins of Lubbock, accounting; Nathan Carson of Sweetwater, economics/finance; Lucio Castro of Lamesa, accounting; Lesli Hart of Plainview, accounting; Daniel Hayden of Fort Worth, business administration; Heather Hurt of Irving, accounting; Peggy Magallan of Hale Center, business administration; Isaias Martinez, Jr. of Plainview, international management; Kimberly McCasland of Van Horn, accounting; Angela Miller of Lubbock, management information systems/mathematics; Jason Morgan of Plainview, economics/finance; Rosa Padilla of Lockney, management/marketing; Diana Peck of Westminster, Colo., health care administration; Ragan Spradling of Amarillo, management/marketing; and Tyler Topper of Plainview, economics/finance.

Bachelor of Music: Bridget Hancock of Booker, music education; Candice Lasiter of Roswell, N.M., church music/music education.

Bachelor of Science: Amy Boerner of Hobbs, N.M., biology; Jennifer Brigman of Eula, physical education/business administration; Michelle Bueermann of Springer, N.M., biology; Jacob Burke of Amarillo, psychology; Marci Chasteen of Midland, psychology; Steven Coleman of Crosbyton, physical education; Justin Everett of Lafayette, Colo., biology; Micah Garvey of Anna, chemistry/English; Stephanie Gollihar-Jones of Lubbock, mathematics/business administration; Christopher Gonce of Fort Worth, mathematics/psychology; Cassandra Hill of Smyer, biology; April Jackson-Chancler of Canadian, composite science; Carl Leake III of North Pole, Alaska, psychology/religion; Sean McVey of Clayton, N.M., mathematics; Clayton Shipley of Littlefield, physical education; Robert Sistrunk of Plainview, physical education; Steven Smallwood of Rotan, biology; Sally Stanford of Wolfforth, physical education; Chad Tibbits of Plainview, biology; Billie Turner of El Paso, mathematics; Joe Michael Waller of Fort Stockton, psychology.

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Erika Bryant of Plainview, elementary education; Jennifer Doherty of Georgetown, elementary education; Amanda Gonzales of Houston, social studies; Sara Gowman of Plainview, elementary education; Kelli Howard of Midland, mathematics; Lindsey King of Amarillo, elementary education; Meg Mansdoerfer of Albuquerque, N.M., elementary education; Elisabeth McReynolds of San Antonio, elementary education; Christen Parker of Vigo Park, elementary education; Deborah Smith of Petersburg, science; Jill Stout of Sudan, elementary education; Malissa Trotter of Portales, N.M., mathematics; Jennifer Vacek-Castaneda of Knox City, elementary education; Sandra Valderaz of Hart, mathematics.

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education: Melanie Coleman of Plainview, human services; Geneva Escobar of Plainview, human services; Michelle Glotfelty of Waynesville, Mo., occupational education; Lisa Johnson of Clovis, N.M., management; Miho Komatsu of Yamagata, Japan, occupational education; Karen Mansell of Plainview, business administration; AnnaBell Mirelez of Plainview, occupational education; Elizabeth Pena of Plainview, human services; MaAntonia Rodriguez of Plainview, occupational education; Steven Rothschild of Amarillo, human services; Charlotte Schumacher of Plainview, business administration; Nenad Stojanovic of Serbia, occupational education; Craig Williams of Plainview, business administration; and Elizabeth Wyatt of Plainview, occupational education.