BOLIVAR, Mo. – Nearly 640 students will graduate from Southwest Baptist University during three commencement ceremonies — one held Thursday, May 17, in Springfield and two held Saturday, May 19, in Bolivar.
Graduation ceremonies for Springfield campus undergraduate students will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17, in the sanctuary of Second Baptist Church, 3111 E. Battlefield Rd., Springfield, with 131 degrees being awarded in nursing, radiography and health sciences.
Speakers will be graduating students Kenzie Maugans, associate of science in radiography and Courtney Redford, associate of science in nursing. Sharon Evans, associate of science in nursing graduate, will perform “How He Loves,” by the David Crowder Band, and Nicole Knight, ASN graduate, will perform “Rise Up,” by Andra Day.
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 19. 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.
Chaplain (Colonel) Gary Gilmore, Joint Force Headquarters Senior Army Chaplain of the Missouri National Guard and a 1979 SBU graduate, will deliver the commencement address at the undergraduate ceremony. He completed his master of divinity degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He served the Waverly Baptist Church for seven years before becoming senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Mount Vernon, and serving for 16 years.
Reece Tabor, bachelor of science in communication graduate, will deliver the Bob R. Derryberry Senior Address.
Five retiring faculty and staff members will be recognized: Sherrie Bayer ’92, instructor of University Studies; John Credille ’76, ’92, Registrar; Theresa Daniels, director of donor relations (University Relations); Dr. Rodger Minatra ’08, associate professor of business administration; and Dr. C. Pat Taylor, president.
Award presentations will include the student Life Beautiful Awards and the Orien B. Hendrex Distinguished Teacher Award in addition to the 220 diplomas to be awarded.
Dr. C. Pat Taylor will deliver the commencement address at the graduate student ceremony. Taylor received his doctor of education degree with emphasis in history and philosophy of education from Memphis State University, his master’s degree in history from Western Kentucky University and his bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education from the University of Tennessee-Martin. Taylor was named the 24th president of Southwest Baptist University by the Board of Trustees on Aug. 20, 1996. Since his arrival at SBU, Taylor has been instrumental in the success of more than $60 million in construction projects. Under his leadership, the endowment funds have increased from $4.6 million to more than $32 million.
The ceremony will include the awarding of 280 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.