Graduates Are Challenged to Serve
Spring Commencement Highlights
For the 479 Southern Nazarene University students who were awarded degrees on May 14, 2016, it was the culmination of years of dedication and commitment to education. But it was also the beginning of opportunities to live out the challenge issued to them while at SNU - to practice servant leadership with a global perspective.
Beginning with the traditional processional, led by Dr. Stephen Green, elected by his Faculty peers to carry the University Mace, each of the two Commencement ceremonies celebrated the graduates and recognized outstanding achievements and accomplishments. Rev. Chuck Lauver, Church of the Nazarene pastor from Ft. Smith, Arkansas and father of a graduate, offered the opening prayer in the morning ceremony.
The Commencement address, delivered by Dr. Rick Harvey, Senior Pastor, Bethany First Church of the Nazarene and father of a graduate, challenged the graduates in both ceremonies to let God write their future, trusting Him for far better things than they can plan or imagine for themselves. With a backdrop of inspiring scripture and music by the SNU Chorale, Dr. Loren Gresham, President, declared to an appreciative audience that Southern Nazarene University is unapologetically Christian, and seeks to educate students in Christ-centered community, preparing them for servant leadership.
The President’s Award was presented to Mandie Oliver, a native of Colorado, graduating with a Nursing major and a minor in Music, and Felipe Simoes, from Brazil, who received his degree in International Business. These seniors were honored for their outstanding Christian example in scholarship, service and leadership.
In the afternoon ceremony, several in the School of Graduate and Professional Studies were recognized for having received the Distinguished Achievement Award, based on scholarship, community service, and exceptional participation in their specific academic program.
The Doctor of Divinity degree was presented to author and speaker, Susie Shellenberger, who served at Focus on the Family for over two decades, and is an ordained Elder and Tenured Evangelist in the Church of the Nazarene. While a student at SNU, Susie, who graduated in 1978, was the first female ever elected to lead the Student Government Association.
In addition, Ambassador Kenneth Tillett, a graduate of SNU, was presented the Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Ambassador Tillett served the country of Belize in various positions of leadership beginning in 1975. He was named permanent representative to the United Nations for Belize and was a key negotiator in several important agreements and understandings with various nations, and has received numerous commendations and awards for his service.
Of the 479 degrees awarded in the Spring Commencement ceremonies, 165 traditional Bachelor degrees were granted. Professional Studies was represented by an additional 147 bachelor degrees from the campuses in Bethany, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and online students. Master degrees were awarded to 167 graduates from the main campus in Bethany, the Tulsa campus, and online students. To view the Commencement ceremonies in their entirety, visit snulive.com.
To learn more about the Academic degree programs at Southern Nazarene University, visit snu.edu/academics or snu.edu/snuforadults.