Lipscomb awarded over 400 diplomas at its 2018 December commencement in Allen Arena on Saturday afternoon. Three of these degrees awarded were to students completing the online degree program for the first time in university history.

President Randy Lowry gave the charge to the students, offering his perspective on how the graduates are leaving armed with new knowledge and experience, as “products” of the university.

“You came four or five or six years ago as a consumer, having looked, perhaps all over Nashville…maybe all over the country, for the college that you would call home,” Lowry said. “…The reality is you had many choices as a consumer, but something caught your attention about this community. One of the amazing things that has happened, perhaps not as profound as you will someday appreciate it, is that you came as a consumer, but you leave as our product.”

Lipscomb now offers online degree programs in business leadership, psychology, RN-to-BSN and integrated studies, performance coaching and more.

171 students received bachelor’s degrees and 274 received graduate and doctoral degrees, with both August and December graduates. This includes 44 doctorates and 21 education specialist degrees, which is the most the university has ever awarded.

Lowry added that his goal is to continually seek to increase the value of the students’ degrees.

“Our job is very, very simple,” Lowry said. “Our job is to stay here and do this generation after generation and to increase the value of your degree…so that as you go forth, people know Lipscomb. They know what Lipscomb is all about, and they see you as its product.”

Family and Consumer Science professor John D. Conger gave the invocation, and Associate Dean of Student Life Dannie Woods gave the Scripture reading to the graduates, referencing Ephesians 3, praying that the graduates will be empowered with inner strength through God’s spirit.

Board of Trustees member Richard G. Cowart gave the benediction to end the ceremony. Cowart noted how his own daughter, Carrie Cowart, was one of the graduates receiving a degree. During the prayer, Cowart specially thanked God for the professors who helped the students get to where they are today.

“We thank them for their commitment to knowledge, for the sacrifice they have each made to be teachers, for their love of instruction, but especially for the extra measure that they give beyond teaching, to be mentors, to be friends and to guide us through the journey of life,” Cowart said. “A little bit of every professor is in every one of these graduates.”

To the graduates, Cowart asked for the prayer of Solomon.

“…When becoming King as a young man (Solomon), could have asked for fame, or fortune or wealth, but instead he asked for a gift that You granted, because it was not a gift that would make him great. We ask that You give the gift that you gave to Solomon to each of these graduates, and that is to give them wisdom and discernment.”

Photos by author

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