HANNIBAL (HLGU) – Beautiful weather reflected the bright spirits of more than 200 graduates as they walked across the stage in ceremonial regalia to shake the hand of HLGU’s President, Dr. Anthony Allen, and receive their diplomas on Saturday, May 7. Among this year’s graduates was the first class to complete HLGU’s new Master of Arts in Leadership degree.
“Today’s events are celebratory and serve to mark the beginning of the rest of your life,” said Anthony Allen, HLGU President, as he welcomed the graduates.
This year’s graduating class of seniors was the first class to enter HLGU when Dr. Anthony Allen’s presidency began in 2012, making him a fitting speaker for the commencement address.
“I had the great joy of welcoming you as a new president four years ago,” he said, “and today I have the great privilege of being able to hand you your diploma, a completion of a job well done. The greatest joy I have as president is to see you discover, develop, and to demonstrate God’s purpose for your life.”
Following the presentation of graduates, Ashley Neeley and Reid Echelmeier, nominated Who’s Who Among Seniors at HLGU, led the graduates in the graduate pledge and in giving a standing ovation to thank all friends and family for their support.
Also at commencement, the Parkway Distinguished Professor Award was presented to Julie Andresen. The award was given by Parkway Baptist Church in St. Louis, and selection is based on outstanding professional and personal contributions to Christian education. Andresen, an assistant professor and library director, has servedat HLGU for 26 years.
In addition, HLGU presented its “staff member of the year” award to Jeremy Wallace, who joined the staff at HLGU in the spring of 2012, in the position of assistant registrar. In 2013, he transitioned to Campus manager with the computer services department. Wallace previously graduated from HLGU with a degree in Bible and has completed some graduate coursework in theology and business administration.
Special music during the ceremony was presented by graduates Roane Dalo and Travis Black. Accompanied by Mrs. Lori Scott, the duet performed the song “More Than Wonderful.”
Prior to the ceremony, the graduates processed through the HLGU arch on the University’s traditional Walk of Honor, symbolizing the end of their schooling and their entrance into the world as college graduates.