New grads urged to live lives of moment-by-moment obedience to God

PLAINVIEW – New graduates of Wayland Baptist University won’t have to worry about what the future holds if they are obedient to God. At least those were the words of wisdom shared by fellow classmate Joy Miller, a graduating senior from Amarillo chosen as senior class speaker. 

Borrowing a quote from Christian writer Oswald Chambers, Miller summed up the age-old question of God’s purpose for every person’s life by encouraging graduates to share the vision God has for each of them.

“Even the greatest plans and hopes and dreams we have are nothing compared to what God has for us,” she said. “We are called and commanded to live lives characterized by moment-by-moment obedience to God.

“We don’t have to focus on the future because if we are obedient today, we’ll be in the right place tomorrow.”

In his brief challenge to the graduating class, Wayland President Dr. Paul Armes encouraged graduates to hug and thank their families for their support of the dream to attain a degree, and to thank God as well for their lives and blessings.

“You’re part of a very special family called Wayland,” he said. “May your future be worthy of God’s dreams for your life.”

Approximately 80 students received diplomas during the Saturday ceremony, including 25 graduate students, the majority of which comprised the original cohort for the Master of Arts in Counseling degree program started two years ago.

Three students were honored as highest ranking seniors, each compiling a perfect 4.0 grade point average for their college careers. Kristen Raines of Mansfield, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, was honored, along with Ryan Thurman of Littlefield, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in history education, and Sarah Turner Williams of Hobbs, N.M., earning a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree in elementary education.

The daughter of Charles and Shelly Raines, Raines has run cross country for Wayland for several years and was a member of the 6th Place team at National Competition this fall. Thurman, the son of Dale and Beverly Thurman, has been active in Baptist Student Ministries. The daughter of Chris and Pam Turner, Williams is active in Kappa Delta Pi education honor society.

Degree recipients include the following, listed by degree along with major and hometown:

Master of Arts in Counseling: Crislyn Rae Richardson Green of Plainview; Elizabeth Perez Hernandez of Plainview; Joe Hernandez of Olton; Lea Marie Howell of Spur; Kira Ingle of Joplin, Mo.; Donna Elaine Isaacson of Plainview; Sheila Suzanne Sexton Jones of Lubbock; Kenit L. Kemp of Plainview; Shauna Christine Lane of Ralls; Camille Gay Lewis of Springlake; JoAnn Rey of Plainview; Joni J. Rodriguez of Levelland; Nancy Lee Rodriguez of Plainview; Teresita V. Sandoval of Olton; Konnie Diane Odom Schafer of Plainview; Cathy Lynne Vick of Lubbock; and Angela Wilson of Lubbock.

Master of Arts in Management: William Alan Berck of Altus, Okla., human resource management.

Master of Business Administration: Ryan Lane Linebarger of Altus, Okla., general business; and Adam M. Springer of Plainview, human resource management.

Master of Education: Jason Wayne Cole of Hereford, educational administration; Jolee Ann Dietrich of Lockney, secondary education; Steven L. Melendrez of Clovis, N.M., elementary education; Sylvia Ann Suarez of Floydada, educational administration; and Gina Delaine Combs Wilson of Littlefield, psychology and guidance.

Bachelor of Arts: Sarah Elysse Kron of Lockhart, History and English; Joy Elizabeth Miller of Amarillo, religious education, summa cum laude; Emily Leona Robinson of Alpine, religion, summa cum laude; Lauren Leslie Shipman of Magnolia, English and language arts, magna cum laude; Ryan Blake Thurman of Littlefield, history education, summa cum laude; Andrew M. Ward of Ralls, religious education; Brittany Nicole Watson of Blanket, history and English, cum laude; Callie DeNae Wheeler of Whitewright, mass communications, summa cum laude; and Amber Nicole Wiley of Lubbock, music.

Bachelor of Business Administration: Aaron Lane Ainsworth of Mart, business administration, cum laude; Alyssa Kay Barrett of Plainview, business administration; Randall H. Blodgett of Perryton, management and marketing, magna cum laude; Johnny W. Britton of Plainview, accounting; Tyler Stephen DeHay of Lubbock, business administration; Erica Lynn Kaiser of Earth, business administration; Carolyn Magallan of Hale Center, marketing and management; and David Mojica, Jr. of Plainview, marketing and management, cum laude. 

Bachelor of Music: Juanetta D. Bocko of Post, music education; and Lauren Gayle Willson of Lubbock, music education, cum laude.

Bachelor of Science: Jacob DeWitt Bentley of Tulia, physical education; Amanda Cornett of Plainview, physical education; Jonathan David Eaves of Plainview, physical education; Brandi Kalene French of Texline, physical education; Janee Nicole Harrison of Lockney, life science, magna cum laude; Ryan Gene Hodge of Muleshoe, physical education; Chelsee D’Lea Jordan of Tahoka, psychology; Susanna T. Lucio of Amarillo, chemistry; Shanda Dee Moffett of Sylvester, psychology; Kristen Elizabeth Raines of Mansfield, biology, summa cum laude; Amber Michelle Smith of Plainview, psychology; and Michael L. Wickware of Plainview, physical education.

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Deborah Leah Alcozer of Plainview, elementary education, cum laude; Christy Lee Morgan of Muleshoe, elementary education, summa cum laude; Penny LeAnn Sweat of Hale Center, elementary education; and Sarah Elizabeth Williams of Hobbs, N.M., elementary education.

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education: Pedro Montano Aliendres of Anzoategui, Venezuela, business administration; Timothy R. Condon of North Platte, Neb., business administration, with honors; Linda Diane Cruz of Plainview, human services; Larry W. Frey of Plainview, occupational education and management; Stormy Lee Hayes of Plainview, justice administration; Yolanda Mitchell Hodgest of Amarillo, management; Jason L. Jack of Tulia, human services; Loriena Molinar Lerma of Lockney, occupational education; Ynes Mendoza of Plainview, business administration; David Mojica, Sr. of Plainview, business administration; Jessica Morayma Montes of Sudan, occupational education; Susie Perales Nava of Plainview, human services; Maria Elena Lucio Porras of Plainview, occupational education; Mariana Sanchez Rodriguez of Plainview, business administration; and Jeffrey Don Vanlandingham of Childress, occupational education.

Associate of Applied Science: Timothy R. Condon of North Platte, Neb., business administration; and Linda Diane Cruz of Plainview, human services.