Graduates challenged to remember friends, faithfulness of God

Release Date: December 12, 2009

PLAINVIEW – In the winter commencement ceremony at Wayland Baptist University, graduating senior Matthew Johnston challenged his classmates to cherish those “remember when…” stories with fondness as he shared three truths he learned during his college years.

Johnston noted that friends are great, adding that the interactions with many on the WBU campus have shaped the graduates into who they are today. But, he added, life is hard, and those trials can inspire confidence that God is working in their lives and growing them to a new place.

Finally, Johnston urged the audience to remember, “God is faithful.”

“In the midst of our joys and times of hardship, God is here and He is faithful to us,” noted the religion major. “The character that is distinctly Wayland will go with us throughout our lives.”

WBU president Dr. Paul Armes added his own brief charge to the class, asking them not to underestimate their power to change the world and the impact that faith in Christ can have on their lives.

“It really does matter how you live,” Armes said. “Your actions speak more eloquently than any words. Serve and share Christ wherever you go.”

During the ceremony, Armes also recognized senior John Goble of Keller as the highest ranking graduate, obtaining his bachelor’s degree in history education with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Seniors participating in the ceremony included Alicia Anderson of Tucson, Ariz., who led the invocation; James Sercey of Fort Worth, who led the pledge; Goble, who read the scripture passage from Psalm 73; Leslie Delgado of Plainview, who directed the hymn for the ceremony; and A.J. Haney of Shallowater, who led the benediction.

Earlier in the day, many graduates participated in the traditional Torch and Mantle ceremony where they symbolically transferred the role of leadership to an undergraduate student of their choosing. The students also chose a faculty or staff mentor who presented a medallion encouraging them to take on the role of mentor to others in their lives.

Dr. David Howle, associate professor of religion at Wayland, was the keynote speaker, sharing with students that while classes may prepare them for jobs, only the faith and integrity that is an inherent part of the Wayland experience can prepare them for what they will face in the future.

Earning degrees in the Saturday ceremony were the following, listed with hometowns, majors and honors if applicable:

Master of Arts in Counseling: Elaina Albarez, Plainview; Mindy Atkinson, Roswell, N.M.; Jeanie Benitez, Plainview; Joyce Bigham, Lubbock; Cheryl Brewer, Lawrenceburg, Tenn.; Carrianne Caldwell, Plainview; Patricia Cortez, Lubbock; Jessica Crabb, Lubbock; Courtney Cummings, Lubbock; Sylvia De La Garza, Plainview; Chris Lawler, Lubbock; Melissa Lawson, Plainview; Stephanie Lopez, Plainview; Monica Mendoza, Burkburnett; Hailey Post, Lubbock; Lacy Simon, Plainview; Karla Venable, Plainview; Joe Waller, Plainview; Leigh Anne Wells, Lubbock; Erin Whedbee, Plainview.

Master of Arts in Management: Kristi Moore, Human Resources Management; Brownfield; Angela Mowery, Human Resource Management, Iowa Park; Jonathan Petty, Psychology, Plainview.

Master of Business Administration: James Estes, General Business, Plainview.

Master of Christian Ministry: Mary Galeana, McAllen.

Master of Education: Joseph Baka, IV, Secondary Certification, Iowa Park; Angela Oakes, Special Education, Floydada; Philip Glenn Topper, Education Literacy, Horizon City; Brian Whitlock, Instructional Leadership, Plainview.

Master of Public Administration: Marta Alvarez, Government Administration, Plainview; Heather Crouch, Government Administration, Plainview; Mark Davis, Justice Administration, Schertz; Jacob Hernandez, Justice Administration, Lamesa.

Bachelor of Arts with Honors: Matthew Johnston, Religion, summa cum laude, Ruidoso, N.M.

Bachelor of Applied Science: Christina Brown, Human Services, Fort Worth

Bachelor of Arts: Alicia Anderson, Recreation and Camp Management, Tucson, Ariz.; Jennifer Burton, Criminal Justice, Plainview; Jessica Else, Mass Communication, Weiser, Idaho; David Foster, Jr., Religion, Plainview; Heather Gerszewski, History, magna cum laude, Ahwahnee, Calif.; John Goble, History Education, summa cum laude, Keller; A.J. Haney, Religion, Shallowater; Amber Jacobi, Psychology, summa cum laude, Iowa Park; Joseph Mowery, Psychology, cum laude, Iowa Park; Ryan Oglesby, Art, Littlefield; Jennifer Phillips, Sociology, El Paso; Taylor Phillips, Religion Composite, Coleman; James Sercey, III, Religious Education, Fort Worth; Karen Wilson, Religion, Lubbock.

Bachelor of Business Administration: Christi Byrd, Management/Marketing, cum laude, Hale Center; Markose Chenthitta, Business Administration, Dubai, U.A.E.; John Mes, Management Information Systems, Tulia; Rachel Oglesby, Management/Marketing, Thornton, Colo.; Dominic Palmer, Business Administration, Dubai, U.A.E.; Sean Parnell, Economics/Finance, cum laude, Pasadena; Rebecca Redding, Economics/Finance, magna cum laude, Plainview; Kevin Stinson, Management/Marketing, cum laude, Mission, British Columbia, Canada; Trevor Ward, Economics/Finance, magna cum laude, Lubbock.

Bachelor of Music: Leslie Delgado, Music Education, Plainview; Joshua Rumbaugh, Church Music, Spur.

Bachelor of Science: Brittany Banning, Physical Education, San Clemente, Calif.; Beau Bishop, Psychology, cum laude, Brownwood; Erin Britton, Biology, cum laude, Levelland; Brett Cook, Physical Education, Kearny, Ariz.; Audrey Hemminger, Biology, Melrose, N.M.; Allen Marrow, Physical Education, Albuquerque, N.M.; Jessica Riemersma, Biology, summa cum laude, Glendale, Ariz.; Krystal Sansom, Psychology, Plainview; Autumn Schaub, Physical Education, Pampa; Trae Sweatt, Psychology, Shamrock.

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Whitney Hall-Marrow, Elementary Education, Amarillo.

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education: Alyse Anthony, Human Services, with honors, Plainview; Frederick Arreola, Management, Bisbee, Ariz.; Mickala Driver, Occupational Education, Wildorado; Rudy Garcia, Jr., Business Administration, Plainview; Kimberly Gilder, Occupational Education, Zavalla; Rebecca Guerrero, Occupational Education, Lockney; Priscilla Hooper, Management, Plainview; Sean London, Management, with honors, Altus, Okla.; Luis Lopez, Jr., Justice Administration, Floydada; Gustavo Lucena, Business Administration, Barquisimeto, Venezuela; Carlos Ortega, Management, Stratford; Anthony Sharpe, Management, with honors, Geneva, Ohio; Lena Topper, Occupational Education, Horizon City; William Trotter, Occupational Education, Littlefield; Rendi Royal Webb, Occupational Education, Abernathy; Courtney Williams, Justice Administration, Denham Springs, La.

Associate of Applied Science: Anthony Sharpe, Business Administration, Geneva, Ohio.