Convocation Ceremony | May 5, 2023

The graduates’ excitement was palpable as they entered the gymnasium on the morning of Friday, May 5. Dr. David Ledgerwood, Chair of the Music Department, played the processional “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”. Proud grandparents, parents, sons, and daughters held phones high to capture a quick photo of their loved ones as the graduates made their way to their seats and waited with eager anticipation for the ceremony to begin.

 Opening of the Ceremony

Following the congregational song, “Arise, My Soul, Arise”, Dr. Matt Davis, Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the attendees and led the invocation. He thanked board members, spouses, parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents for their support. Davis also announced the purpose of the commencement offering. The offering will be used to complete renovations in the dormitories.

Dr. Bryan Brock, a faculty member in the College of Bible and Church Ministries and Maranatha Baptist Seminary, read 2 Corinthians 7:7-18 before the Heritage Singers brought their special music.

Challenge by Dr. Marriott

Dr. S. Martin Marriott, President, brought the commencement address. He challenged the graduates to evaluate where their spiritual eyesight is focused.

“Give your attention, your ambition, your life to the unseen purposes of God,” he encouraged them. He stressed the importance of renewing the inward man every day so that when troubles come, believers have the strength to look beyond to the unseen.

“Graduates,” Marriott closed, “we love you. We trust you’ll go out seeing the right things and becoming the right people and serving until Jesus comes.”

Graduate candidate Hannah Ostrander played “Amazing Grace”, accompanied by Dr. David Ledgerwood, for the offertory.

Award Winners

Following Marriott’s address came the announcement of awards and the presentation of diplomas.

  • Outstanding Maranatha Baptist Bible Institute Student – Julia Lehman
  • Outstanding Bible Student – Jeremy Fopma
  • Outstanding Science Student – Adelle Markle
  • Outstanding Humanities Student – Alyssa Saunders
  • Outstanding Interdisciplinary Student – Tiffany Henderson
  • Outstanding Musician – Lydia Bachorik
  • School of Business Student Achievement – Timothy Davis
  • Outstanding Future Teacher – Claire Greene
  • Florence Nightingale Best Bedside Nurse Award – Megan Herbster
  • Outstanding Online Student – Boaz Briddick
  • Outstanding Seminary Student in Theology – Daniel Duncan
  • Outstanding Seminary Student in Biblical Languages – Timothy Potter

Dr. Licht, Vice President for Academic Affairs, then recognized those students who achieved academic honors. Two students received a medal for the highest GPA – Adelle Markle and Claire Greene. The GPA of these two students was tied at 4.0.

Dr. Marriott presented the two Founder’s Awards and the President’s Award – the three highest honors at Maranatha Baptist University. Caleb Friske 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 Michael Andrew Smith and Claire Greene.

Conferral of Diplomas

Dr. Licht presented the 2023 graduating candidates to Dr. Marriott. Each graduate was then called by degree and department to receive his or her diploma.

The ceremony was paused as Dr. Davis stepped to the podium again and announced that the Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Marriott as Chancellor. Read the full announcement here.

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. Robert Loggans, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Watertown and Secretary for the Board of Trustees, gave the benediction.  

To view the ceremony, click here.

To view photos, click here.