SNU's One Hundred Fourteenth Commencement In Review

Commencement ceremonies took place on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at Southern Nazarene University (SNU) in Bethany, Oklahoma. Dr. Loren Gresham, President of Southern Nazarene University, served as the SNU One Hundred Fourteenth Commencement speaker.

President Gresham is finishing his 50th year at SNU. The first 22 years he served in administrative, teaching, and coaching roles. The last 28 years he has served as president of the University. The university contributions made by Dr. Gresham are numerous. Some of these include the establishment of the Ministerial Internship Program, the VETS Center, the addition of multiple athletic programs, NCAA Division II membership, the moving of the Tulsa campus to its current location, and the introductions of the SNU Marching Band. The capital projects include the Centennial Plaza and Fountain, the Sawyer Center, Marchant Family Alumni, and Welcome Center, A.M. Hills Residential Complex, J.D. & Mary West Science Building, Southern Plaza and the addition of the Southern Plaza Memory Care Facility to be completed later this year. Major renovations include the Webster Commons, R.T. Williams Library, the Claud and Betty Cypert Baseball and Softball Fields, and the Parker Fine Arts Center.

Brad Moore, president of the SNU Board of Trustees, announced that the SNU Board of Trustees voted to give the title of President Emeritus to Dr. Gresham active on his retirement date of July 31, 2017. Only one other President in the history of SNU has been given that title and which was awarded to President Emeritus, Dr. Roy H. Cantrell, upon his retirement. First Lady, Linda Gresham received 28 red roses representing 28 years of Dr. Gresham’s presidency.

There was a total of 327 Bachelor’s and 151 Master’s candidates available to receive their degrees in the morning and afternoon ceremonies. The President's Award, the highest award at SNU for traditional undergraduate students, based on academic excellence, leadership, and service, was presented to graduating seniors Colin Ryan Pasque, and Jamie Gerbrecht.

A part of the morning ceremony was the recognition of thirty-four “Golden Grads,” (class of 1967) a group made up of those who participated in their Commencement at what was then Bethany Nazarene College fifty years prior. Each Golden Grad received a BNC/SNU medallion and celebrated at a special luncheon following the morning’s activities.

Following the morning Commencement, traditional graduates took part in the Ivy Ring ceremony, a symbolic parting of the ways that has taken place for over 77 years at SNU.

Southern Nazarene University’s mission: To make Christlike disciples through higher education in Christ-centered community.