On Saturday, December 18, the University gathered in the Mason Activity Center gymnasium to celebrate the graduates of Fall 2021. For the first time in two years, the ceremony was able to return to the tradition of offering a ticketless ceremony for all family and loved ones to attend.
The Fall 2021 graduates showed resilience in their studies and reached substantial academic achievement. Of the 71 graduates, 35 students received master’s degrees and 40 received baccalaureate degrees. 24 undergraduate/dual-level students received Latin honors for maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Anika Archer (secondary English education), who read the Scripture passage for the ceremony, completed her degree with the second-highest GPA of the Fall 2021 class: 3.99. Katie Greene (business administration) and Rachel Godwin (secondary English education) both completed their degrees with a 4.0 GPA.
After awarding the degrees, President Williams took to the podium to address the newly minted graduates. He exhorted them to not neglect or compare the gifts they have been given from God from Jesus’ parable of the talents in Matthew 25:
“The parable is about what they do with what they’ve been given. There is no discussion of comparison. . . . God gives you what he wants you to have. You’re not to complain about it, and you’re not to compare it to someone else. . . . All that we have comes from God, and we should view it that way.”
Dr. Williams also shared, in addition to not comparing the gifts they have been given, that the graduates should also use those gifts fully:
“Don’t think of what you’ve been given as something you might lose. Think of it as something that God is going to multiply. . . . What you have been given is not yours; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. . . . The purpose is his glory, his honor, and the advancement of His kingdom.”
Congratulations, Class of 2021!