Truett McConnell University (TMU) held its 2021 graduation commencement for 169 bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates in one of two commencement services inside The George Blaurock Student Wellness Center on May 15.

The services opened with a welcome by Vice President for Student Services Mr. Chris Eppling, followed by an invocation by Board of Trustees member Mr. Todd West and Campus Pastor Bucky Kennedy.

President Emir Caner then began by saying, “It does my heart good to see this arena normal again. It makes their accomplishment ever more determined to know that this was an unprecedented and difficult year and that they not only endured but thrived.”

A charge from the President

Caner addressed both audiences by reading from Hebrews 4, verse 12 and adding, “the key to life is to understand that Jesus is alive, and He has given us a living Word which is the scripture­.”

He continued by saying, “We pray that by the time students graduate, they wouldn’t have the same faith as when they walked in, but they would have a greater faith, a more passionate faith, a more knowledgeable faith than when they walked in.”

With his Bible held high, President Caner concluded his address charging graduates with words from Anabaptist theologian and martyr, Balthasar Hubmaier, “Yield yourself to God. Trust in His Word. He will not forsake you.”

Honoring of graduates

Dean of the Felix Manz School of Music Dr. Kenneth Gabrielse followed Caner’s address by leading the audience in the university hymn, God’s Word Stands Sure Forever (words by Balthasar Hubmaier, adapted by Emir Caner and Nan Allen; music by Dennis Allen).

Dr. David Drake, Director of Alumni and Church Relations echoed blessings to each graduate stating, “Congratulations Class of 2021, and welcome to the Truett McConnell Alumni Association!”

Vice President for Academic Services Dr. Brad Reynolds then presented the bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates to the President who then awarded those candidates with their degree as they walked across the platform.

The first commencement ceremony confirmed degrees on graduates from The Hans Hut School of Business, The Michael Sattler School of Public Service, The Leonhard Schiemer School of Psychology and Biblical Counseling, and The Balthasar Hubmaier School of Theology and Missions.

The second commencement ceremony confirmed degrees upon graduates from the The Peter and Gredel Walpot School of Education, The Martha Rielin and Elizabeth Salmen School of Nursing, The Felix Manz School of Music, The Conrad Grebel School of The Humanities, and The Pilgram Marpeck School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Pastor Tony Samples and Dr. David Drake concluded the ceremonies with a benediction.


Jenny Gregory is the Assistant Director of Content Marketing for TMU.


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