2022 Convocation Ceremony
Dr. David Ledgerwood, Chair of the Music Department, welcomed the graduates to the gymnasium with a resounding piano rendition of “Who Is on the Lord’s Side?” on the morning of Friday, May 6. Parents and grandparents held phones high to capture a quick photo as the graduates made their way to their seats, and all waited with eager anticipation for the ceremony to begin.
Opening of the Ceremony
Following the congregational song, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”, Dr. Matt Davis, Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the attendees and led the invocation. He then thanked board members, spouses, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents for their support. “We know that behind every student is a team of people,” he said. Davis also announced the purpose of the commencement offering. “The Dining Complex is undeniably the hub of the campus. We need to update and improve the student experience without adding to the burden of tuition.” This summer’s renovation will include flooring, seating, and painting.
Dr. Milton Jones, Program Director of Maranatha Baptist Bible Institute and faculty at Maranatha Baptist Seminary, read John 21:15-25 before the Heritage Singers brought their special music.
Challenge by Dr. Marriott
Dr. S. Martin Marriott, President, brought the commencement address. Marriott began by listing off culturally apparent uncertainties. “Our national and personal circumstances are upset with the slightest change.” He contrasted those same uncertainties to the certainties of our God. “Graduate, God never short-changes his children! Unlike us, He knows exactly what He is doing.” He continued to challenge and encourage by saying, “God will give you a place to serve and the strength to minister.”
To the entire gathering, Dr. Marriott said, “Following Jesus is our duty. Our end goal. Our command.” We can trust the Lord for the future including all the trials that will come. God knows all things including the timing of His return. Our school’s name implies His return, and we need to be ready. We all say, “Lord, come quickly, and the Lord is coming!”
Following Marriott’s address came the announcement of awards and the presentation of diplomas.
- Florence Nightingale Best Bedside Nurse Award – Joanna Schlagel
- School of Business Student Achievement – Kayla Campbell
- Outstanding Maranatha Baptist Bible Institute Student – Anne Ohman
- Outstanding Science Student – Callie Morrison
- Outstanding Humanities Student – Josiah Knight
- Outstanding Musician – Aleisha Beachell
- Outstanding Future Teacher – Abigail Garren
- Outstanding Online Student – Stephanie Brahs
- Outstanding Male Bible Student – Nathan Bixby
- Outstanding Female Bible Student – Sophia Bauman
- Outstanding Seminary Student in Theology – Troy Prater
- Outstanding Seminary Student in Biblical Languages – Jonathan Anderson
Dr. Licht, Vice President for Academic Affairs, then recognized those students who achieved academic honors. Two students received a medal for the highest GPA—Jennifer Rueb and Angel Steuerwald. The highest GPA was 4.0.
The three highest honors at Maranatha Baptist University are the two Founder’s Awards and the President’s Award. Micah Herbster received The President’s Award, granted for outstanding demonstration of qualities indicating fitness for gospel ministry. The Founder’s Awards, given to both a male and female graduate who best exemplifies the founding purpose and spirit of Maranatha Baptist University, were given to Barry Bradshaw and Aleisha Beachell.
Conferral of Diplomas
Each graduate was then called by degree and department to receive his or her diploma. This was the first time that Maranatha conferred the Masters of Non-Profit Administration.
Closing of the Ceremony
True to tradition, the graduating men’s ensemble sang “The Banner of the Cross” following the conferral of diplomas. Dr. Marriott then offered a prayer of dedication. The graduates exited the gymnasium as the congregation sang Maranatha’s school hymn “To the Praise of His Glory.” To close the ceremony, Dr. Bob Loggans, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Watertown and Secretary for the Board of Trustees, gave the benediction.
To view the Commencement ceremony, click here.
To view photos, click here.