Wayland to confer diplomas at December 15 ceremony

PLAINVIEW – Approximately 80 students will receive diplomas from Wayland Baptist University in a 2 p.m. ceremony set for Saturday, Dec. 15, in Harral Auditorium, including most of the original cohort for the Master of Arts in Counseling degree.

While a few of the original group crossed the stage in May to receive their degrees, 21 of the students will comprise a major part of the program on Saturday, having completed their degree requirements either in August or this semester. The MAC program started two years ago, offering classes on evenings and weekends and in online format to accommodate working adults wanting to pursue the counseling degree.

Along with those students, another eight will receive graduate degrees in other fields, and 50-plus undergraduates will receive the bachelor’s degree during the ceremony.

In a departure from the traditional outside commencement speaker, the December ceremony will feature a brief charge to the graduates from Wayland Baptist University president Dr. Paul Armes. Armes explained the trend is becoming more common for universities to use their own administrators as speakers and cut down the speeches in an attempt to shorten the long ceremonies.

Joy Miller, a graduating senior from Amarillo, will give the student address. Miller, a religious education major, is the daughter of Victor and Theresa Miller. She has been active in Student Government Association and the Baptist Student Ministries and is hoping to work in youth ministry, focusing on teen girls. She is engaged to marry WBU senior Brandon Urlaub later this month.

Other students participating in the ceremony include Emily Robinson, a senior from Alpine, giving the invocation; Randy Blodgett, a senior from Perryton, leading the pledge to the flag; Aaron Ainsworth, a senior from Mart, reading the senior class scripture; Lauren Willson, a senior from Lubbock, singing special music; and Camille Lewis of Springlake, a candidate for the Master of Arts in Counseling degree, giving the benediction. Kirby Raschke, a senior from Lubbock, will introduce Miller, and Lisa Wiginton, a music major from Lubbock, will play the organ recessional.

Dr. Armes and Gen. William Edgar Murphy of Lubbock, chairman of the Board of Trustees, will confer degrees on the students. Armes will also recognize the highest ranking seniors during the ceremony.