Cleveland, GA (May 10, 2011) – Truett-McConnell College celebrated its sixty-third annual commencement on Saturday, May 7, 2011.   A total of fifty-two students received associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in a ceremony held at 10:00 AM in the TMC gymnasium.

The commencement service featured guest speaker Dr. Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta and founder of In Touch Ministries

Faculty awarded nine associate degrees and 43 bachelor’s degrees that morning. This is the largest amount of bachelor’s degrees that TMC has awarded. The bachelor’s degree candidates ranged in age from 21 to 45. The faculty, staff, and students were also invited to sign a steel frame that will be placed in the new addition of the Miller building.

The guest speaker was Dr. Charles Stanley, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Atlanta and Founder of In Touch Ministries. Emphasizing on the story of Daniel in the Bible, Stanley encouraged the students to seek the Lord for direction rather than living based on their own preferences.

He addressed the students stating, “If you do not have direction, the number one thing you need to do is get down on your knees before God if you want to hear from him…what a tragedy to never be able to point to a time where God spoke to you, because he is so willing to give clear direction.”

Stanley continued, “You have been trained, challenged, equipped to be salt and light. Ask yourself how God can use me to be salt and light.”

Bachelor of Arts in Music graduate, Sarah Rogers, had the following to say about reaching this milestone in her life.

“It’s overwhelming. Graduation is a mixture of being excited but not wanting to leave at the same time. I feel very prepared to do what God has called me to do both academically and spiritually. He has blessed me with friendships that will last me the rest of my life as well as spiritual leaders and mentors. If it had not been for the people he has placed in my life, I would not be where I am today. I will miss the spiritual aspects, friendships, chapel, and also the birthday celebrations in the dorms!”

The following students were awarded associate degrees: Christopher David Bolton, Bailey Shea Dollar, Alex Jordan Ferguson, Nicci Renae Hicks, Crystal Marilyn Padilla, Zachary Jordan Smith, Alicia Nicole Taylor, Amanda Karen Thompson, and Matthew Blake Williams.

The following students were awarded bachelor degrees: Christopher Haden Banard, Barbara Twiggs Belanger, Monroe Bennett, Jr., Mandy Shea Bentley, Bridget Thomassina Mae Burgess, Megan Leigh Burns, John Michael Cathey, Keri Jo Cooper, Bryan Andrew Durham, Justin Sean Farmer, Thomas Wilkes Fuqua III, Bonnie Catherine Getchell, Jonah Cam Greene, Jessica Taylor Hampton, Mitchell Ray Johnson, Meredith Ann Jolly, Jared Haywood Marsh, Jarrod Kason Moody, Kara Leigh Moore, Lacey Larae Muse, Jesse Caleb Norton, Ivey Carolyn Norton, Lana Elain Palmer, Nathan Gordon Pillsbury, Meghan Tineal Puckett,  Christine Elizabeth Puckett,  John Edward Querry III, Meaghan Tylere Reese, Faith Elizabeth Ritchey, Sarah Elizabeth Rogers , Rebekah Joan Russo, Hannah Nicole Shivar, Bailey Scott Smith, Sonya Beshers Souther, Vicky Joy Tarleton, Bailey Elizabeth Tomasello, Jessica Anne Troup, Erica Tracy VanVranken, Heather Nelson Welborn, Bryan Wisdom, Jason M. Wisdom, Rebekah Emily Wood, Tulio Yamasita.

Vicky Tarleton won the 2011 Top Honor Graduate award and each graduate received a copy of Dr. Stanley’s new book, Into His Presence. Truett-McConnell College congratulates these graduates and wishes them all the best as they embark on a new chapter in life. 

Truett-McConnell College equips students to fulfill the Great Commission by fostering a Christian worldview through a Biblically-centered liberal arts education.

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