Graduate encourages perseverance in next stages of life's journey

December 11, 2010

PLAINVIEW – Hailey Clark poked fun at herself and her journey through the academic lineup at Wayland Baptist University during her address to the graduating class in the winter commencement ceremony. And while it may have taken her five and a half years to find the major for which she had a passion and complete her degree, she stood proudly to encourage her fellow classmates to cherish the dear memories and friendships and to maintain the spirit of perseverance that brought her to this celebratory day.

It was the people I met here that made my college experience so memorable,” she said. “But I could not have been as prepared if not for the mortar that holds the bricks of this university together, and that is the faculty. They have taught me so much and given me a confidence in myself.” 

Clark, a Lubbock native who played on the Pioneer Volleyball squad for four years, related an incident in volleyball practice in which she felt frustration over the coach’s instructions and uttered the phrase, “I can’t do this.” The coach, she remembered, said, “There is no can’t here, only I will.”

“They instilled in me here the belief that if I take any obstacle with the attitude of ‘I can’ and ‘I will,’ that I can overcome anything,” she said.

Dr. Paul Armes, Wayland president, encouraged the graduates to keep dreaming and believing they can accomplish those dreams in his brief charge during the ceremony.

“You will change the world in very significant and positive ways, and we know the miracles have just begun,” said Armes. “We’re proud of you and grateful for you.”

Armes also encouraged graduates and their families at a luncheon preceding the ceremony, hosted by the Association of Former Students, presenting one final quiz of sorts.

“Today you’re receiving a degree for which you’ve worked very hard, but it’s only a tool. The question is what will you do with that tool? And how do you see life?” he asked. “We hope you’ve come to see from the Biblical perspective that life is a precious gift, a possibility-filled gift that God has entrusted to you.”

Armes encouraged perseverance and faith as graduates move into new arenas.

“Your future is out ahead in a world that desperately needs what you have to give,” he said.

Besides Clark, other seniors participating in the ceremony included Kyle Adams of Orange, who gave the invocation; Mallory Burgett of Shallowater, who led the pledge to the American flag; and Hailey Hamilton of Muleshoe, who gave the benediction. Music education major Joel Duarte of Dallas led the audience in the holiday hymn “Silent Night” and the school Alma Mater, and senior Kesa Gill sang “God Speaking” as the special music selection.

Senior Bethany Netherton of Tucson, Ariz., and Jarrod Alford of Littlefield were recognized as the Highest Ranking Seniors, both graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Earning diplomas during the ceremony were the following, listed by degree and including major, hometown and Latin honors if applicable:

Master of Arts in Counseling: Miranda Avery-Dove of Lubbock; Connie Mischell Kelley Coe of Lubbock; Tara Fox of Enid, Okla.; Fedenciso Gomez-Ramirez of Lubbock; Laurie Lea Latham Johnson of Plainview; Sasha W. Loe of Lubbock; Elda Raquel Lucio of Hereford; Micah Lee Marble of Floydada; Angela Beth Matthews Martin of Olton; Brandi Lea McCalib of Lubbock; Belinda Chantail Nails of Plainview; Sarah Wright Sorensen of Lubbock; Karla E. Stovall of Amarillo; Christopher Michael Straface of Levelland; Raquel Mathews Whitehead of Perryton.

Master of Arts in Management: Epifanio M. Garza of Plainview; Anthony Steven Herr of Plainview.

Master of Education: Yanna Feng Elliott of Xian, China, elementary education; Teresa Escovedo Garcia of Plainview, elementary education; Malinda Yeary Gerber of Plainview, educational diagnostics; Robin Bowden Nixon of Plainview; educational administration.

Master of Public Administration: William G. Brandt of Ulysses, Kan., government administration.

Bachelor of Applied Science: Kay Machelle Carden of Plainview, human services; Lance W. Moore of Plainview, business administration; David Brett Mull of Plainview, justice administration; Annette Marie Potter-Coon of Avon, Ind., business administration.

Bachelor of Arts: Kyle A. Adams of Orange, religion, cum laude; Chris Laine Chapman of Whiteface, psychology and sociology; Irene Flores of Plainview, Spanish education, cum laude; Diana Gladisela Gutierrez of Dumas, Spanish education, magna cum laude; Adam C. Henthorn of Fort Worth, mass communication; Bethany Marie Netherton of Tucson, Ariz., psychology, summa cum laude; William Earl Pond of Tulia, justice administration; David Rhoads of Amarillo, religion; Heather May Shiloh of Silver Creek, N.Y., art education; and Jaime Marcos Subealdea, Jr., of Plainview, sociology.

Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies: Melissa Nicole Knight of Prosper, middle school social studies.

Bachelor of Business Administration: Shamon Michelle Doss of Silsbee, management information systems; Amy Renee Gates of Shallowater, management and marketing; Pedro J. Gomez Montanez of San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, management information systems; and Brad Wall of Perryton, economics and finance, magna cum laude.

Bachelor of Music: Joel Duarte of Dallas, music education; Kesa LeAnne Gill of Hobbs, N.M., music education; and Hailey Ann Hamilton of Muleshoe, music education.

Bachelor of Science with Honors: Hailey Elizabeth Clark of Lubbock, geology and history, magna cum laude.

Bachelor of Science: Jarrod Reuben Alford of Littlefield, mathematics, summa cum laude; Aaron Aiken Anderson of Tulia, geology; Alissa Breanne Mitchell of Clinton, Okla., molecular biology, magna cum laude; Erica Nicole Rodriguez of Sterling City, exercise and sport science, cum laude; William TK Rose of Hollis, Okla., biology; Colby Tanner Schniederjan of Dalhart, biological sciences; Johnathan Torres of Lubbock, exercise and sport science.

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Shaney Jane Staton Brewer of Perryton, elementary education, cum laude; Mallory Kaitlyn Burgett of Shallowater, elementary education; Sarah Katherine Dillon of League City, elementary education; Ginger Lee Hinojosa of Plainview, elementary education; Jessica L. McCrary of Amarillo, elementary education, cum laude; and Byanka Sabrina Vail of Plainview, elementary education.

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education: Lauren Nicole Bristow of Shawnee, Okla., business administration; and Tina Rodriguez of Plainview, business administration.