Spirits were high in Allen Arena Saturday afternoon, as 560 Lipscomb students were awarded their bachelor’s degree diplomas.
Earlier that morning, commencement was held for 325 graduate students.
The ceremony began with the board of trustee members Bart Harper and Sallie Dean delivering the invocation and scripture reading.
Dean read from Philippians 4, including the verse: “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything.”
In his President’s charge, President Randolph Lowry highlighted how each graduate had an individual story of how they “overcame challenges” to walk across the graduation stage.
“Each of those stories suggests something about the future and how you will contribute to this world,” said Lowry. He recognized first-generation students, student-athletes and graduating veterans.
However, he also took the opportunity to tell the story of one particular student, Seth Walker, who has cerebral palsy.
“Seth Walker cannot walk,” Lowry said. “He cannot feed himself. He cannot dress. He cannot roll over in bed without assistance. And yet God has given him an amazing sense of cherishing and holding on to all that life provides.”
Walker received his Bachelor of Arts degree in theology and ministry.
Lowry went on to discuss Ken Brassell, Walker’s caregiver.
“For the past five years, he has attended virtually every single class that Seth attended at two colleges,” Lowry said. He then called Brassell up to the stage and awarded him with an honorary bachelor’s degree.
Several awards for faculty and a student were then announced: the Outstanding Teacher awards, to Lindsay L. Dillingham, Jon H. Lawrence and Nancy Magnusson Durham; the John William Baker Award, to mathematics professor Carroll G. Wells; and the Stephen Lee Marsh Christian Example Award, to English major Cheyanne Jane Gavin.
David L. Solomon, chair of the board of trustees, closed the ceremony by praying that the graduates, with “the hard work, the long nights, the ups and downs, the fun and the accomplishments,” will have not only “gained knowledge, but also wisdom.”