Bruce encourages graduates to work hard, take life's opportunities

PLAINVIEW – December graduates of Wayland Baptist University received a few final words of wisdom Saturday as they crossed the stage in Harral Auditorium to receive their diplomas.

“The greatest lessons are not learned in the halls of academia but in real life,” said Dr. Keith Bruce, director of institutional ministries for the Baptist General Convention of Texas and commencement speaker for the afternoon ceremony.

Passing on some lessons of life, Bruce encouraged the graduates to work hard in life, not settle for the status quo, stay connected and take advantage of life’s opportunities.

“Working hard is not just for work’s sake or for material gain,” he said. “God has given each of us a purpose to carry out and serve. Discover God’s purpose and give yourself wholly to it.”

Bruce also encouraged living smartly and creatively instead of simply doing what others are doing. He also said to cherish relationships with others.

“The greatest strength you have is the power of relationships,” he said. “None of us can attack life alone. We need one another.”

Bruce’s words echoed that of senior class speaker Britany Lewis, a graduate from Borger with a degree in speech, who encouraged her classmates to make the most of the life they’ve been given.

“Today we’re stepping out on the next leg of our journey,” she said. “Every end is another beginning, a chance to press on.”

Lewis spoke of the importance of having faith, persevering through trials that may come and being of service to others.

“Everyone here will be a witness for Christ,” she said. “You’ll either radiate his light and love or you’ll radiate darkness.”

Earlier in the ceremony, Wayland president Dr. Paul Armes recognized two seniors as highest ranking, both graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Jennifer Harrison of Midland earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and was active in the American Medical Student Association, Alpha Chi honor society and local volunteer activities. Crystal Holloway of Uvalde earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree in elementary education and was active in the Baptist Student Ministries, Alpha Chi and Kappa Delta Pi education honor society.

Graduate Elizabeth Burton of Crowell read the scripture, with senior Shawn Anglin of Borger leading the pledge. Prayers were given by seniors Dustin Rauch of Carlsbad, N.M. and Alpha Jennings of Plainview.

Graduates in the ceremony include the following, listed by degree with majors and hometowns:

Master of Arts in Religion: Daniel Wigner of Lubbock

Master of Arts in Management: Karen LaQuey of Carlsbad, N.M.

Master of Business Administration: Anthony Persaud of Plainview, management; Joylynn Wharff Taylor of Lubbock, business administration; Miguel Del Rosario Vinales of Puerto Rico, management information systems.

Master of Education: Kelly Ann Knapp of Kress, English/reading/psychology; Leigha Dyan Pate of Plainview, elementary education; and Randal Russell of Wichita Falls, instructional technology.

Bachelor of Arts: Shawn Anglin of Borger, criminal justice; Francisco Carmona of Brownsville, criminal justice/Spanish; Lydia Carmona of Brownsville, criminal justice/Spanish; Bethany Chollar of San Antonio, English; Jay Coleman of Crosbyton, Art; Feliciana Davila of Midland, Spanish; Kelley Dunn of Bledsoe, speech; Heath Ferguson of Lamesa, English/language arts; William Fleming of Ozona, religious education; Kaci Holcomb of Roswell, N.M., social studies composite; Britany Lewis of Borger, speech; Patricia Morales of Plainview, psychology; Daniel Planeta of Flagstaff, Ariz., criminal justice; Dustin Rauch of Carlsbad, N.M., religion/psychology; Lissabeth Rusten of Borger, art; Jarod Walston of Plainview, religion; Jason Whittle of Amarillo, business administration; Sarah Leann Wigner of Jal, N.M., religion.

Bachelor of Business Administration: Jonathan Barnes of Tulia, management/marketing; Ana Borrego of Plainview, economics/finance; Elizabeth Burton of Crowell, management/marketing; Jolee Dietrich of Lockney, business administration; Alpha Jennings of Plainview, accounting; Cheryl Mogg of Plainview, economics/finance; Lacy Phillips of Lockney, agribusiness; and Karn Sastravaha of Lubbock, management information systems.

Bachelor of Music: Curtis Broome of Estes Park, Colo., music education; Chris Rackley of Crosbyton, music education; and Ariel Smeaton of Amarillo, music education.

Bachelor of Science: Lorenza Avila of Hart, physical education; Jason Broussard of Waco, physical education; Camy Brunson of Plainview, psychology; Stefanie Buckland of Weatherford, biology; Hugh Ellis of Lovington, N.M., psychology/religion/English; Jennifer Harrison of Midland, biology; Samuel Najera of Idalou, chemistry; Heather Saldana of Plainview, psychology; Stephanie Shaw of Plainview, physical education; Rachel Smith of Fritch, biology.

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Cody Castillo of Plainview, elementary education; Crystal Holloway of Uvalde, elementary education; Robin Marlar of Plainview, elementary education; Jo’Elda Perez of Abernathy, middle school mathematics; Janelle Powers of Wichita Falls, elementary education; and Colleen Trevithick of Fort Morgan, Colo., elementary education.

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education: Flordie Mae Hawthorne of Tulia, human services; Teena Lechuga of Altus, Okla., business administration; Alecha Sheppard of Wichita Falls, occupational education; and Heather Simpson of Plainview, human services.