BOLIVAR, Mo. – Nearly 550 students will graduate from Southwest Baptist University during three commencement ceremonies — one held Thursday, May 18, in Springfield and two held Saturday, May 20, in Bolivar.
Graduation ceremonies for Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences undergraduate students will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 18, in the sanctuary of Second Baptist Church, 3111 E. Battlefield Rd., Springfield, with 129 degrees being awarded in nursing, radiography and health sciences.
Speakers will be graduating students Stephanie McGinnis, associate of science in radiography; Whitney Lucas, associate of science in nursing; and Dmitriy Grishchuk, bachelor of science in nursing. Michae’la Green, associate of science in nursing graduate, will perform “For The One,” by Jenn Johnson and Paul McClure.
Bolivar, Mountain View and Salem undergraduate students, and all graduate students will be honored at two separate ceremonies, with the undergraduate commencement taking place at 10 a.m., followed at 3 p.m. by the graduate ceremony, both on Saturday, May 20. The undergraduate ceremony is outdoors on the Merrill Burnidge Memorial Forum, and the graduate ceremony is at John Q. Hammons Court within the Jane and Ken Meyer Wellness and Sports Center on the Bolivar campus. In the event of rain, the undergraduate ceremony will be held in the Meyer Wellness and Sports Center.
Chad McDonald, senior pastor of Lenexa Baptist Church, Lenexa, Kan., and a 1999 SBU graduate, will deliver the commencement address at the undergraduate ceremony. He earned a master of arts degree in theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and is nearing completion of his doctor of ministry in leadership from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. He has served churches in Alabama, Missouri and Kansas.
Kaylee Dye will deliver the Bob R. Derryberry Senior Address. For the senior music performance, Ashley Nicole Fox will perform “Amazing Grace,” arranged by Paul Basler, on horn, and will be accompanied by Zach Shelton on piano.
Six retiring faculty members will be recognized: Wayne Clark, accounting department chair and instructor of accounting; Dr. Martha Hicks, department of music chair and professor of music; Dr. Kelly Martin, coordinator of the criminal justice program and professor of criminal justice; Linda Tappmeyer ’76, instructor of English; Dr. Mark Tappmeyer ’74, Department of Language and Literature chair and professor of English; Dr. Linda Wooderson ’78, professor of physical education.
Award presentations will include the student Life Beautiful Awards and the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award in addition to the 218 diplomas to be awarded.
Craig Wright will deliver the commencement address at the graduate student ceremony. Wright, a financial advisor with Strategic Financial Concepts, Inc., and director of development for the Ozarks region, graduated from SBU in 2006 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology with minors in counseling and business administration. Wright worked as an SBU admissions counselor after graduation, and in 2009, earned his master of business administration degree and started the Missouri division of SFC.
The ceremony will include the awarding of 198 graduate diplomas.
For more information about the Bolivar commencements, please contact the Provost’s Office at (417) 328-1601. For more information about the Springfield commencement, please call (417) 820-2069.