News - 2014 Greenville College Commencement

2014 Greenville College Commencement

2014 Greenville College Commencement

The campus was bustling with celebration and hope during the 2014 Commencement weekend. Buildings decorated with orange and black banners, faces illuminated with smiles and the air filled with farewells and well-wishes for the opportunities awaiting graduates upon their arrival into the world after Greenville College. On May 24 and 25, the college recognized 349 graduates.

Dr. George Barber, professor of health & physical education and head men’s basketball coach at GC, delivered the Baccalaureate address on Sunday morning. His message reminded students of the promises God offers to those who follow Him based on Jeremiah 29:10-13 and explained through anecdotes from Barber’s personal experiences: Freedom from the past, guidance and strength for the present and hope for the future. Barber’s message closed with a blessing from the late Bishop Phillips Brooks, an episcopal minister from the late 1800s, “Do not pray for easy lives but pray to be strong men and women. Do not pray for a task that is equal to your strength but pray for strength that is equal to your task then the doing of your work will be no miracle but you will be the miracle.”

Dr. Dean Hirsh Dr. Dean Hirsch, consultant and former CEO of World Vision, delivered the commencement keynote address, “What’s In Your Investment Portfolio” on Saturday and Sunday. Using examples from his life experiences as a former employee of GC and wisdom gleaned from years on the field as a missionary and humanitarian, Hirsch challenged students to inhabit three characteristics: to be a person investing in others, a good listener and an agent of hope. Hirsch’s message closed with a realistic, but hopeful statement, reflecting his three exhortations: 

“Graduates, you are going to face days of darkness, you’re going to face tough challenges just like I have. And when you face those, remember the days when you were walking in the light, remember the promises.

“Greenville College is a lighthouse. Never forget it. Your professors are people of light, your peers are people of light. Stay in tough, stay in contact and never face darkness by yourself.

“God is in control, God loves you, the graduates of Greenville College, more than you can imagine. God works all things good for those who love Him and God will never leave or forsake you.”

During Sunday’s commencement program, Associate Professor of English, Lesley Sieger-Walls, received the W. Richard Stephens Outstanding Faculty Award, accompanied by a $1,000 check. Graduating senior Naomi Brown received the President’s Citation in recognition of her superb academic achievements and contributions to the college community.

President Ivan Filby and Lesley Sieger-WallsPresident Ivan Filby and Naomi Brown

Of the 349 graduates recognized during commencement weekend, 227 earned traditional undergraduate degrees, 38 received undergraduate degrees through GC’s Organizational Leadership program and 19 received bachelor’s degrees in Elementary Education through the Undergraduate Teacher Education Partnership (UTEP). Degrees were also conferred on 64 graduate students. Of these, 7 received master’s degrees in management and 57 received master’s degrees in education.

To view photos of commencement weekend, visit our Flickr page.

This story was published on June 19, 2014

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