94 Take Part in Spring Graduation

graduate smiling
Pioneer basketball player Ruben Lopez is all smiles after graduating with a Master of Education degree in sports administration and management at Wayland’s commencement on Saturday afternoon.

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University held its annual spring commencement ceremony on Saturday afternoon with 94 graduates participating.

During the ceremony, Wayland bestowed emeritus status on Dr. Gary Manning who was a professor in the School of Religion and Philosophy for 30 years prior to his retirement in 2012. Manning was given the title of Emeritus Professor of Religious Education.

Amanda Vickers, a graduating senior from Orlando, Fla., was recognized as the highest ranking graduate with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Vickers graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree in elementary education.

Five students graduate with degrees from the honors program, signifying an additional commitment to academic rigor. Aaron Martell, of San Antonio, completed his Bachelor of Business Administration with Honors degree in economics and finance. Nina Wyre, from Jacksonville, Fla., received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors degree in two dimensional studio art.

Oscar Chavira, of Hereford, graduated with a Bachelor of Science with Honors degree in psychology. Plainview’s Carley Hardage completed her Bachelor of Science with Honors degree in exercise and sport science, and Abigail Pearce, of Texico, N.M., earned a Bachelor of Science with Honors degree in justice administration.

Erin Moon, of Waxahachie, served as the senior class speaker, challenging her classmates to take part in the dance that God has set before them. Quoting Garth Brooks’ song “The Dance,” Moon encouraged her classmates to embrace all the struggles they have faced because it makes the dance worthwhile.

“Although we were all driven to get to this day, we didn’t anticipate the road blocks, milestones, or relationships that would occur,” Moon said. “But here we are. We made it.”

Moon then encouraged her classmates to take part in the ultimate dance – a relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Some of us don’t know what’s going to happen when we leave this place. Some of us don’t even know what will happen when we leave this room,” Moon said. “The one thing that I do know, though, is that if you are not following the path that Christ has laid out for you, then you are definitely going the wrong direction.”

Dr. Michael Davis, a 1987 graduate of Wayland who lives in Las Vegas, then addressed the graduating class. Davis, who is the manager for nuclear training at the Nevada National Security Site, has now spoken at every Wayland campus graduation with the exception of Altus, Okla. He spoke of the relationships he built at Wayland and how those mentors and friends helped encourage and support him throughout his education and beyond the classroom. He congratulated the graduates on being a part of the “transformative enterprise that is a Wayland education.” He then encouraged students to teach each other.

“Our Wayland family taught me the value of community and that making a difference doesn’t require displays or depend on wealth, ability, or intelligence,” Davis said. “What matters is having the courage to try and the heart to serve.


Master of Arts in Counseling: Veronica Adcock, Lubbock; Marissa Camargo, Plainview; Katy Geist Amarillo; Lacrise Johnson, Lubbock; Colton Schmitz, Kirksville, MO; Lesli White, Hereford; Chanda Wilhite, Plainview; Denise Williams, Lubbock

Master of Arts in English: Julie Allen, Cochran, GA

Master of Business Administration: Pedro Aliendres, Plainview; Jovanna Barrera, Lubbock; Logan Evans, Plainview; Andrew Novak, Boys Ranch; Andrew Porras, Hereford

Master of Education: Joshua Bailey, Lovington, NM; Shanna Hobbs, McKinney; Ruben Lopez, El Paso; Claire Moman-Williams; Tatiana Rodriguez, Bogota, Colombia; Gerald Sutton, Lubbock

Bachelor of Applied Science: Michael Barrow, Tulia; Julia De La Garza, Plainview; Stephanie Gannaway, Plainview; Jimmie Jones, Jr., Dallas; Samuel Kalwanyi, Kampala, Uganda; Rachael Kennedy, Amarillo; Ty Pierce, Killeen; Malikah Pool, Colorado Springs, CO

Bachelor of Arts: Adam Berhe, Loorach, Germany; Alex Driggars, Plainview; Casey Easterwood, Sundown; Christian Givens, Plainview; Gabriella Gonzales, Lubbock; Nathan Hamilton, Amarillo; Ryan Hernandez, Plainview; Nathan Hester, Anchorage, AK; Ayrial Hiracheta, Lubbock; Jennifer Hollars, Plainview; Elbert Holmes, Jr., Copperas Cove; Erin Moon, Waxahachie; Victoria Pollard, Farwell; Bethany Rogers, Gradn Junction, CO; Rossanna Rosado, Catano, Puerto Rico; Jon Silva, Lubbock; Jessica Stohlmann, Cibolo; Kristen Trevino, Amarillo

Bachelor of Business Administration With Honors: Aaron Martell, San Antonio

Bachelor of Business Administration: Stephanie Balderas, Plainview; Tyrone Davis, Dallas; Zeltzin Garcia, Houston; Selina Gomez, Dallas; Julio Lopez, Olton; Gabrielle Munoz, Austin; Nina Sato, El Paso; Sonwabiso Skhosana, Durban, South Africa; Silvia Sosa-Valles, El Paso; Andrew Williamson, Pretoria, South Africa

Bachelor of Christian Ministry: Samuel Akin, Visalia, CA

Bachelor of Fine Arts With Honors: Nina Wyre, Jacksonville, FL

Bachelor of Music: Lillie Cooper, Lubbock; Jaden Pena, Plainview

Bachelor of Science With Honors: Oscar Chavira, Jr., Hereford; Carley Hardage, Plainview; Abigail Pearce, Texico, NM

Bachelor of Science: Patrice Daniels, Ft. Belvoir, VA; Austin Davis, Farmington, NM; Sammantha Dixon, Dubois, WY; Dillon Frazier, Denison, TX; Mayra Gonzales, Plainview; Billy Hatten II, Copperas Cove; Jacob Hinojos, Plainview; Troy Long, West Bay, Grand Cayman; Barry Lyons II, Los Angeles, CA; Daniel Martinez, Metapan, El Salvador; Robert McCutcheon, San Antonio; Ethan Nicholson, Paris; Abril Padilla, Van Horn; Joshua Reinhart, Lubbock; Jada Riley, Austin; Caitlin Salyers, Grand Prairie; Justin Scruggs, Nashville, TN; Sarah Stinson, Post.

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Emily Boardman, Roswell, NM; Kourtney Bradshaw, Plainview; Candice Chadwick, Plainview; Ashley Cook, Plainview; Holly Cooke, Plainview; Avery Gutierrez, Plainview; Ellen Hedlund, New Cuyama, CA; Selene Lemay, Plainview; Savanna Ludecke, Melissa; Alexis Summers, Amarillo; Garrett Tiner, Hale Center; Amanda Vickers, Orlando, FL