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SBU to hold Spring 2022 commencement ceremonies May 20 and 21

BOLIVAR, Mo. – Southwest Baptist University will be awarding degrees to 580 students during three commencement ceremonies — 355 on Friday, May 20, and 225 on Saturday, May 21, in the Jane and Ken Meyer Wellness and Sports Center on the Bolivar campus.

The bachelor degree ceremony is at 3 p.m. and the associate degree commencement is at 7 p.m., Friday, May 20, with the graduate degree ceremony at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 21.

Jeffrey Metzler, a bachelor of science in nursing graduate, will deliver the Bob R. Derryberry Senior Address, while Cori Fincher, a bachelor of science in general music and percussion graduate, will present the senior music at Friday’s opening ceremony. 

Wade Hopkins ’91, Regional Vice President / Gulf Coast Multi-Area Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, will deliver the commencement address at all three ceremonies.

Hopkins was a wide receiver for SBU’s football program and was named an All-American in both 1989 and 1991. He is seventh on SBU’s receiving yards list with 1,972, eighth in receptions (116), tied for 10th in receiving touchdowns (10) and second in average yards per catch (17.00). 

After college, the two-time All-American continued his football career, signing as a free agent with the Houston Oilers and then with the New England Patriots of the National Football League. He went on to play in the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League. 

After his retirement from football, Hopkins joined the FCA staff in October 1996. Since then, he has led coaches and athletes into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church. Hopkins also has the opportunity to use sports as a tool to share the Gospel, specifically through coaches – a seed that was planted during his time as a football player at SBU. 

In 2000, Hopkins was inducted into the SBU Athletics Hall of Fame. He also is a member of the FCA’s Hall of Honor, which recognizes staff members whose “commitment is a demonstration of the Lord’s faithfulness.” 

Hopkins has been married to his wife Julie, an alumna of SBU, for 28 years and together they have three daughters, Bethany, Grace Ann and Bonnie. 

Award presentations will include the student Life Beautiful Awards and the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award in addition to the 355 undergraduate diplomas to be awarded.

For more information about the commencement ceremonies, please visit, which includes links to the livestream of the commencement ceremonies, or email the Office of the Provost at 

*Published: 5-10-2022