SHAWNEE—Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) conferred degrees upon 72 undergraduate and 38 graduate students during the Winter Commencement ceremony Friday, Dec. 13. The ceremony took place in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. Heath Thomas, president-elect of OBU and current dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry, delivered the address.
Graduates took their ceremonial final walk across campus as OBU students before filing together into Raley Chapel. The students, in academic regalia, walked from the Geiger Center to the chapel, passing through rows of OBU faculty members before reaching the chapel’s east steps.
Mack Roark, a 1958 graduate and professor emeritus of Bible, delivered the invocation. Pat Taylor, OBU interim president, welcomed the students and delivered introductions. Hance Dilbeck, executive director-treasurer of Oklahoma Baptists, delivered the greetings and Kenny Day, marketing and communications director, read the scripture.
Thomas delivered a message about the good news of the Gospel.
“As you think about your graduation and the next page in your life, the Gospel is good news we can hold onto,” he said. “And the good news given to us is the message that Jesus reigns. Embrace King Jesus, embrace His reign.
“And as you go from Bison Hill, I encourage you, I plead with you, do not bow your heart or your knee to another person, party, position or place. Give your hearts and lives fully to Jesus the King. Allow His message of the good news of the Gospel of the kingdom of God to have all authority over your lives as you leave Bison Hill.”
Thomas reminded graduates of the transformational power of the Good News.
“The Good News of Jesus does not just transform our spiritual lives and leave the rest of us untouched. The Good News of Jesus Christ means that Jesus is king, and all of life is lived under His lordship, enchanted by his liberating rule in everything.”
He concluded by charging graduates to embrace the Good News of the reign of Christ over all of their lives.
The program included a presentation of the undergraduate graduating class by Clayton Myers, president of the OBU Student Government Association, and Susan DeWoody, provost. The Graduate College graduating class was presented by Nancy Bailey, who graduated with a Master of Arts in Christian Studies, along with DeWoody.
Near the conclusion of the ceremony, graduates were inducted into the OBU Alumni Association by Will Smallwood, senior vice president for advancement and university relations. Taylor then delivered the charge. Finally, Lindsey Panxhi, assistant professor of English and Director of the Honors Program, delivered the benediction.
To view the commencement service or for a full list of graduates, visit www.okbu.edu.