Southern Nazarene University Celebrates Its 116th Commencement

Southern Nazarene University’s Spring Commencement took place on Saturday, May 11, 2019. SNU’s president, Dr. Keith Newman, presided over the events of the day, when over 480 degrees were conferred in two ceremonies held on the main campus in Bethany, Oklahoma. Special guests included Dr. Carla Sunberg, General Superintendent for the Church of the Nazarene, and Rev. Daniel A.K.L. Gomis, Africa Regional Director for the Church of the Nazarene, who gave the Commencement Address in both the morning ceremony for traditional programs and in the afternoon for professional and graduate studies programs.

Commencement May 2019Rev. Gomis gives leadership to the church’s largest Region, Africa, with over 750,000 members of the Church of the Nazarene and more than 1 million attending services on average. Having earned an undergraduate degree and teaching certificate in Senegal, Africa, he continued his education at Nazarene Theological Seminary (USA) where he earned the Masters of Divinity degree. Beyond the Church, Rev. Gomis works with international organizations to bring about humane and orderly migration of people in Africa.

After delivering an inspiring message that challenged the graduates to be authentic and relevant on their journey, Rev. Gomis was recognized by the Board of Trustees of SNU with the conferring of the Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Internationally known for his exemplary work for the Church of the Nazarene, Dr. Gomis’ passion in ministry is to see every nation in Africa transformed by Christ-like disciples, bringing peace, healing and restoration.

Prior to Commencement, traditional program graduates gathered for a Baccalaureate service on Friday, May 10, 2019. Dr. Blair Spindle, Dean of the Chapel and Campus Pastor, gave the Baccalaureate message. Highlights of the service included the presentation of the President’s Award to Sadie Shaull Crouch and Bradley Crouch for exemplary scholarship, service and leadership, as well as the inaugural presentation of the Ed & Eva Pope “Live Last” Servant Leader award, presented to Emma Rhodes Schulteis and Madison Mullins.

Following the Baccalaureate service, members of the Class of 2019 took part in the university’s longest standing tradition, the Ivy Ring ceremony - circling the Lamp of Learning on the campus mall as the unbroken chain of ivy was cut by faculty between each graduate, signifying that, although they depart physically, they take with them a part of the life and spirit of the university.

To watch the 116th Commencement at Southern Nazarene University, visit and select “On Demand.”