December 15, 2006
Surrounded by Christmas greenery, family, friends and classmates, Oklahoma Baptist University's 42 winter 2006 graduates were reminded of the importance of living "in the moment" during OBU's graduation exercises Friday afternoon in the university's Raley Chapel.
"How long have you waited for this moment?" asked Dr. Joyce Aldridge, OBU assistant professor of theatre, as she delivered the Commencement address. "Perhaps your eagerness is surpassed only by the enthusiasm felt by your parents."
Aldridge contended that too many in the audience would be focused on future activities and events, instead of focusing on the celebration of graduation
Citing a scene from Thornton Wilder's acclaimed play, "Our Town," Aldridge urged the graduates to not be so caught up in the speed of life that they fail to notice others around them.
"If we do not work to see, work to appreciate the moment we are in, we become the victims of the velocity of life," said Aldridge, who received OBU's 2006 Promising Teacher Award.
"Today I encourage each of you to set goals reaching far into the future," she said. "Above all, live fully in each moment you have been given."
Approximately 700 people attended the graduation ceremonies, marking the conclusion of OBU's fall semester. The smaller mid-year graduation was set amidst the seasonal decorations of Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium.
Following the conferring of degrees, the graduates were inducted as life members of the OBU Alumni Association by Lt. Col. Phil Beck. A 1978 OBU graduate, Beck currently serves as president of the alumni association. His daughter, Ashley, received a bachelor of science in education degree during the ceremonies.
Walter Hughey, OBU microcomputer/network technician, delivered the benediction. His wife, Lyn, serves as administrative assistant for the university's kinesiology and leisure studies division. Their son, Jason, received a bachelor of arts degree during Commencement.
Eric Hystad, a 1982 OBU graduate, who currently serves as high school pastor at the Second Baptist Church of Houston, delivered the invocation. His daughter, Kimberly, received a bachelor of science in education degree during the ceremonies.