Graduates encouraged to keep their eyes open, trust God for the future

PLAINVIEW – Using the words of the great philosopher Dr. Seuss, senior Tamara Haney encouraged her graduating classmates at Wayland Baptist University to keep their minds open to the possibilities ahead of them.

As senior class speaker, Haney shared her changing dreams from childhood – ranging from cheerleader to president to finally, classroom teacher – and the Seuss book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” in the Saturday afternoon ceremony in Harral Auditorium. 

“Did you ever think you’d be right here on Dec. 13, 2008? Think about five years from now… where you will be then?” Haney asked. “Do you know for certain the places you will be? We can’t always know what change in our plans God has for us.”

Haney said though the landscape may change, graduates should keep their vision wider so they don’t miss the great opportunities around them that God may have.

In his brief challenge to graduates, President Dr. Paul Armes encouraged students to trust God with their “loaves and fishes,” alluding to the gospel story about the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5,000.

“In terms of the talents I bring to the challenges of the world, it doesn’t seem like much some days,” Armes said. “But even meager gifts can accomplish great things in God’s hands. Place whatever gifts you have been given in the hands of Christ and don’t be surprised when the miracles begin.”

During the ceremony,   Valerie Bridges, a graduating senior from Plainview, was recognized as the highest ranking senior, representing the first time a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education recipient has held that honor. Bridges earned her degree in justice administration and graduated summa cum laude with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. 

Other senior program participants included Erik Landes of Amarillo, Rey Rodriguez of Plainview, Ashley Pyeatt of Plainview, and Jessica Young of Dimmitt.

The day included the morning’s Torch and Mantle ceremony, where graduates pass down their torch to an undergraduate student and a faculty or staff mentor hands down the mantle of leadership. Dr. Cindy McClenagan, dean of the School of Languages and Literature, was keynote speaker at the event. The graduation luncheon was then held in the Laney Student Activities Center, featuring entertainment by Lubbock magician Monte Holder and a brief student response from Gary Gates, a senior from Shallowater.

Members of the 2008 graduating class include the following, listed by degree and including majors, hometown and Latin honors if applicable: 

Master of Arts in Counseling: Melanie Irene Anders of Plainview; LaLani Marie Carter of Lubbock; Elizabeth R. Clark of Amarillo; Meagan Dover of Lubbock; Sarah Marie Kincaid of Lubbock; Maria Guadalupe Moralez-Villalon of Plainview.

Master of Arts in Management: Kerri Bownds of Plainview, Human Resource Management; Dora Lynn Nava Garcia of Plainview, Human Resource Management; Lashana Beth Hovey-Pace of Plainview, Human Resource Management; Victor Madrigal of Plainview, Organization Management; and Phillip Michael Melcher of Plainview, Human Resource Management.

Master of Arts in Religion: Anthony Dale Sisemore of Floydada.

Master of Business Administration: Anthony Joseph Bianchini of Burkburnett, General Business; Rohan R. Thompson of Amarillo, Management.

Master of Christian Ministry: Steven Michael Rothschild of Amarillo.

Master of Education: Mary Lou Estrada of Clovis, N.M., Education Literacy; Angie Valdez of Plainview, Educational Administration.

Master of Science (Multidisciplinary Science): Kylie Kay Hughes of Hale Center; Kristine Jernigan of Plainview; Anne M. Kelley of Plainview.

Bachelor of Arts: Elizabeth Brianne Drury of Lubbock, Art/English; Julia Elaine Edwards of Azle, Religion Composite; Sylvia Mancilla Flores of Floydada, Spanish, Cum Laude; Candace Michelle Garcia of Ira, English/Language Arts; Amanda Anne Garza of Plainview, Psychology; Sarah Ann Hernandez of Plainview, Sociology; Erik Landes of Amarillo, Religion, Cum Laude; Christopher Marvin Martin of Artesia, N.M., Religion Composite; Noe Paulin Pizana of Plainview, Business Administration; Ashley Rose Pyeatt of Plainview, Psychology, Magna Cum Laude; Kirby Leigh Raschke of Lubbock, Art; Michelle Suzanne Sanders of Fort Worth, Art, Magna Cum Laude; Sandra Guadalupe Villalobos of Albany, Spanish, Cum Laude; Jessica Danielle Young of Quanah, Religion, Magna Cum Laude.

Bachelor of Business Administration: Bonnie Jo Bagwell of Earth, Accounting, Magna Cum Laude; Lee Conrady Berend of Graham, Economics/Finance, Magna Cum Laude; Jeff Dagg of Vancouver, Canada, Management/Marketing; Yuliana Edith Gallegos of Plainview, Business Administration; Whitney Brooke Gardenhire of Albany, Management/Marketing; Brent Joseph Kirstein of South Africa, Management/Marketing; Mary Ann Leyva of Plainview, Healthcare Administration; Teresa Medina of Plainview, Accounting; Rey M. Rodriguez of Plainview, Business Administration; Richard B. Taylor of Oak Harbor, Ohio, Marketing/Management and Economics/Finance.

Bachelor of Music: Moriah Jean Potter of Olton, Music Education.

Bachelor of Science: Brandi Dawn Blankenship of Lubbock, Sociology; Gary Jon Gates of Shallowater, Physical Education; Amanda Murray of Littlefield, Molecular Biology, Cum Laude; Rita Nicole Rodriguez of Plainview, Biology, Cum Laude; Zachary D. TeGrotenhuis of San Marcos, Biology/English.

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Jessica Marie Amador of Plainview, Elementary Education; Michelle Cathleen Blaschke of Clovis, N.M., Elementary Education, Summa Cum Laude; Lindsey Michelle Fowler of Lubbock, Elementary Education; Tamara Nicole Haney of Shallowater, Elementary Education, Magna Cum Laude; Leslie Ann Miller of Silverton, Middle School Science, Cum Laude; and Nona Elizabeth Sanchez of Plainview, Elementary Education.

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education: Randy Lewis Alvarado of Lubbock, Business Administration; Tammra Lynn Beals of Modesto, Calif., Business Administration; Valerie Bridges of Plainview, Justice Administration, Summa Cum Laude; Kenneth J. Corbin of Morrow, Ga., Religion; Estella Delagarza of Plainview, Business Administration, Cum Laude; Maria Magdalena Hernandez of Plainview, Business Administration; Delfina Nadine Ramirez of Plainview, Occupational Education; Ricardo Prieto Renteria of San Francisco, Calif., Occupational Education; and Thomas Sawyer, Jr., of Lubbock, Religion.

Associate of Applied Science: Ricardo Prieto Renteria of San Francisco, Calif., Occupational Education.