Graduation Fills Behrens Auditorium Twice
307 graduates, 97 with higher degrees
In two ceremonies in Behrens Auditorium, a full house of parents and friends of the graduates filled up the 2,000 seat venue both times.
The ceremony at 10 a.m. was for graduates majoring in art, theology, behavioral sciences, nursing, physical therapy, science, and math.
Dr. Tommy Brisco, dean of Logsdon School of Theology, gave the charge to the graduates.
Brisco made three points to the students. "The first," he says, "is to be ready for change." He says this group of graduates has seen more change in the world over a shorter period of time than any other graduating class so far.
"Second, hold on to what is important in your life." Says Brisco, "Be sure to remain grounded and rooted to all that is good in your life."
"Third, go out and make a difference. He who wins is not the person with the most toys, but the person with the most friends. Turn your attention to people and the problems they face." Brisco says, "Use your resources to impact people. Go out and share your hope with them. Go as a child of God and an alumnus of Hardin-Simmons University. Make us proud."
In the 2 p.m. ceremony, candidates for graduation received degrees in business, music, fine arts, education, sports, kinesiology, and recreation.
The charge to the graduates was delivered by Dr. Chris McNair, dean of the Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics.
McNair told graduates, "Your degree represents the culmination of your hard work, endurance, determination, and your sweat and tears. It gives you the license to success, but it doesn't guarantee success, leadership, or happiness." Says McNair, "It means you are expected to be a role model, someone whose actions should be an example for others to follow."
He reminded graduates of a popular country western song with the words, "Live like you were dying." Says McNair, "The message is simple: Don't leave your life here on Earth unfinished. Don't wait to do the right thing until the end is in sight. Use your education to love more now and to put your heart into action."
Of the 307 total candidates for graduation, 97 received master's and doctoral degrees, including 34 physical therapy students who graduate only during the winter commencement.
Three students were selected to receive awards which are a surprise to the student during the ceremony.
The student with the highest grade point average who took the most hours and the hardest courses receives the Academic Foundation Award and $1,000. The recipient is Robbyn Tribbey, a summa cum laude graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance. She hopes one day to own her own business or to teach business at the college level. Robbyn is the daughter of Robert and Lynette Tribbey of Haskell, Texas.
Another undergraduate honor, the Winnie and D.M. Wiggins Medal, is given to the student who is strong both in academics and personal involvement in the school and community. Krystal Kight is the recipient of that award.
Krystal graduates summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Behavioral Science degree in criminal justice and a minor in sociology.
She plans to continue her criminal justice career as an officer in the United States Air Force. She is the daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. John Kight of Abilene and the granddaughter of Dr. and Mrs. Don Northway of Coleman, Texas, and the Rev. and Mrs. Ernie Kight of Abilene.
The student receiving the Graduate Dean's Award is selected by a faculty vote. The recipient is selected from nominations from all graduate programs. The recipient not only excels at the graduate level, but typifies the character and behavior consistent with HSU's mission and purpose, and has shown potential to excel in their field of study.
This year's recipient received her BEd degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. Prior to coming to HSU she taught elementary school in Canada, California, and Texas.
Enrolling in HSU's Gifted Education master's degree program in 2007, she sat high standards of achievement, finishing her degree with a perfect 4.0 GPA. She has also co-authored two scholarly articles with HSU professors. Now employed as a gifted and talented K-2 teacher, Dianne Fowler and husband presently live in Bangs, Texas.
Photos: Tadsen Family in Behrens Auditorium; Dr. Tommy Brisco, dean, Logsdon School of Theology; Krystal Kight of Coleman; Families wave from balcony; Lisa Duncan, JenniferFowler, KatieBosser, CourtneyMatejka; Physical Therapy Professor stand as graduates receive degrees