HANNIBAL – Beautiful weather reflected the bright spirits of 254 graduates as they walked across the stage in ceremonial regalia to shake the hand of Hannibal-LaGrange University President Anthony Allen and receive their diplomas on Saturday, May 5.
“The greatest joy I have as president is to see our students discover, develop, and demonstrate God’s purpose for their lives,” said Allen. “We want you to know today that no matter where you go or how high you fly, you will always be in our hearts, so remember your alma mater. We’re proud of you.”
The commencement address was given by Glenn Miller, founder and CEO of Miller Management Systems, LLC. Miller is also a member of the HLGU Board of Trustees and currently serves as board treasurer, executive committee member, and chair of the presidential review committee.
Miller congratulated the graduates and opened his address by saying, “What I love about educational achievements is that you’ll get to take this with you for the rest of your life.”
Miller encouraged graduates to love one another, even amid disagreements.
“If we want to see the world changed for the better…can I suggest to you that we as Christians should be working together, not apart?” asked Miller.
Following the presentation of graduates, Cassidy Winters and Keith Schmutzler, selected 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 Albee. The award is given by Parkway Baptist Church in St. Louis, and selection is based on outstanding professional and personal contributions to Christian education.
Albee, who holds a Ph.D. in reading/literacy and higher education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, was selected by her colleagues for the award. She joined the HLGU faculty in 2003 and serves as a professor of education and director of student learning improvement. Her husband Mark, serves as pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Hannibal. She and Mark have three grown children, Tim, Christina and Ben.
HLGU also honored staff member Brian Clark, who has worked in the university’s IT department in October 2016. Clark holds a BA from Central Bible College, a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently working on completing a Master of Theological Studies, also from Liberty. He also serves as associate pastor at Tabernacle of Praise in Hannibal
Special music during the ceremony was presented by Ben Kendall, instructor of music, and Angela Smith Ferrell ’17. 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.