Hearing a message encouraging them to start a new beginning, 104 OBU graduates received their diplomas during OBU's 2013 Winter Commencement on Friday, Dec. 13.
The ceremony combined graduation for undergraduate students from OBU's Shawnee campus and graduate students from the OBU College of Graduate and Professional Studies in Oklahoma City.
During the ceremony in OBU's John Wesley Raley Chapel, the graduates heard from W.C. "Nick" Garland, Jr., senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Broken Arrow, and current president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Garland encouraged students to keep their focus on Jesus Christ as they encounter their greatest exam until now -- life.
Garland told graduates that a new beginning has arrived.
"Today, you are stepping out into the world and stepping up to be all that God created you to be," he said.
Garland identified three new beginnings or commencements in life: birth, academic graduation, and the day Christians begin eternal life.
"This commencement is to recognize the beginning of your journey toward your dreams, aspirations, calling, commitments, and your life," he said.
The program included recognition from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, which founded the university in 1910. Dr. Anthony Jordan, executive director and treasurer, brought greetings on behalf of the BGCO. The graduates were inducted into the OBU Alumni Association by Lori Hagans, executive director of the association.
Cody Moser, president of the Student Government Association and a junior from Noble, Okla., and Dr. Stan Norman, provost and executive vice president for campus life, presented the undergraduate graduating class. Rachel Potts, who received her master of business administration degree, and Norman presented the Graduate School graduating class. Shelly Francka, director of the OBU College of Graduate and Professional Studies, led the benediction.
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