Regent University celebrated the beginning of a new chapter for 2012 graduates
By Rebecca Brittingham | Photo courtesy of Andrey Kovalev
Record number of graduates piled into the library courtyard on Saturday, May 5 for Regent University’s annual Commencement celebration. This year, 1,226 students graduated from Regent University ready to embark upon the next chapter of their lives.
By 7 a.m., the entire campus was buzzing with excitement and anticipation. The campus sparkled as the morning sunrays shined through the trees. University flags lined the pathway from the Communication and Arts Building all the way to the library courtyard.
By 8 a.m., guests started arriving on campus to guarantee a good seat. Meanwhile, graduates walked across campus, with the morning breeze blowing their caps and gowns, to line up for the processional. Anticipating grueling hot weather, drink stations were set up on both sides of the library pavilion.
At 9:30 a.m., with the exception of a few guests still trickling in, the entire campus came to a standstill as the processional began led by the Hilton Brass.
Alitash Leonard, School of Divinity , opened the ceremony with a powerful rendition of the National Anthem which was followed by the hymn “Regent, host of Faith and Learning,” led by David M. Edwards, the Creative Director of the International Center for Worship.
Dr. Campo welcomed the guests and graduates to the ceremonious celebration. He introduced Susan Brophy Bailey, the first Regent University graduate, who shared about her experiences.
In addition to hearing from Bailey and Irene Switzer, School of Government, this year, Representative Michelle Bachmann elected in 2006 as the first Republican woman representing Minnesota to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives was the keynote speaker. Bachmann shared a powerful message of Christ and warned the graduates not to forget their first love. Bachmann also argued the preconceived notion that Christians should stay out of politics. She argued that more than ever before, Christians cannot give up on politics, but need to be involved, saying: “Jesus is the Rock of Defense.”
Finally, Bachmann reminded graduates that often we despise small beginnings. However, it is in small beginnings that we need to be on offense with God.
In closing, Bachmann left the graduates with three very important words of encouragement. She reminded the students that:, “Your presence at Regent is the literal fulfillment of generations of fervent prayer.” She also said, “You hold within you the power to save nations,” and finally, “You carry the awesome privilege of living your life for the glory of God.”
Every year at graduation, Regent University presents both the Chancellor’s award as well as the Alumnus of the Year Award. This year, Dr. Bonicelli presented the Chancellor’s Award to Dr. Charles Dunn, distinguished professor of government. Dr. Pat Robertson presented the Alumnus of the Year award to Ryan Bomberger,1997 alumnus and founder of Radiance Foundation, where he and his wife advocate for the unborn.
Congratulations to Regent’s 2012 Graduates!