BOLIVAR – Southwest Baptist University graduated 204 students at two winter 2018 commencement ceremonies in the Jane and Ken Meyer Wellness and Sports Center on the Bolivar campus.
The SBU Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences held its commencement on Thursday, Dec. 13, and the ceremony for all other graduates was held on Friday, Dec. 14.
“Our graduates are extraordinary people, working diligently to achieve this milestone,” said SBU President Eric Turner. “Our faculty, as you well know, are outstanding Christian scholars, devoted to providing excellent academic and spiritual examples for our students.”
Marisa Mayo, a political science graduate from Springfield, Mo., delivered the Bob R. Derryberry Senior Address at Friday’s commencement. She is the daughter of Wes and Tiffany Fanning, and Kent and Vicky Mayo.
Mayo reminded her fellow graduates that while it’s important to pursue their goals and dreams, it also is important to cherish the little moments.
“These seemingly little memories are what we tend to remember most,” Mayo said. “As we look back on our memories at SBU, we start to realize the moments we say we’ll miss the most aren’t the most glamourous or exciting, but the ones that allowed us to grow closer with others.”
In his commencement address, Dr. Troy Bethards ’93, dean of SBU’s Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science, encouraged the graduates with a few of his “Nuggets of Wisdom;” one of those nuggets being that perspective matters as they take the next steps in their lives after college.
He shared what perspective means, what proper perspective looks like and how to achieve that proper perspective.
Bethards cited “A Christmas Carol,” and told of how the ghosts who visited Ebenezer Scrooge helped him to recognize that he must change the way he was living, “so that his burden after death will not be so great. Scrooge recognized the value of having longer-term perspective. This story can perpetuate the idea that our after-life would be better if we’re good in this life. By being good, Scrooge attempted to lighten the burden that he was going to bear later on.
“In reality, the Bible tells us in Romans 3:23 that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ This means being good does not change our state of our outcome after this life. We’re not perfectly good. But the standard that God has in place is perfect. Without redemption, we’re separated from God for all eternity.“We need God-honoring eternal perspective. That should be our focus. That should be what we’re striving for.”
Achieving proper perspective can be found in Luke 9:23, Bethards said. “And He said to all, if anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”