Bluefield College Seniors Accept Diplomas during 18th Annual Winter Commencement December 15, 2009 | RSS More than 500 guests filled BC's Harman Chapel to celebrate the culmination of undergraduate studies for the seniors, most of whom completed their bachelor's degree through the school's inSpire accelerated degree completion program. Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Dan Grabeel offered greetings to guests and congratulations to the graduates. President David Olive spoke about the school's core values -- it's love of learning, it's passion for service, and it's respect for others -- now all entrusted to the graduates. "Our hope as you leave this ceremony today is that you do so with more than just the knowledge and tools you need for a successful career, but with a sense of calling to a vocation and a passion for an enjoyable and meaningful life," Dr. Olive said. "Much has been entrusted to you. Much is expected of you." Dr. Robert N. Nash, global missions coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, challenged the graduates through a keynote address to be more humble and less self-serving. "Humility is in short supply these days," said Dr. Nash, a former dean of religion and international programs at Shorter College in Georgia and onetime chair of the Department of Religion at Judson College in Alabama. "Customer service is lacking, and the ability to say 'I'm sorry' is rare." He challenged the seniors to consider why we live in such a self-serving society, and he encouraged them to follow the model of the Apostle Paul, who suggested we empty ourselves, take the form of a slave, and become obedient to the point of death. "It's hard for us to have this attitude, but this is my prayer for you," said Dr. Nash, the son of missionaries, who now works himself with the poorest of poor in cross-cultural and global ministry projects. "Only three percent of the population will do what you're doing today -- walk across the stage and accept your college degree. May it make you more humble than proud. If so, I think you will have gotten off on the right foot." Outstanding graduating senior Cynthia Wells Disney, a cum laude graduate in management and leadership from BC's degree completion program, offered a student Commencement address. Disney, who began the pursuit of her bachelor's degree at the age of 52 after being told by a teacher as a child that she was not college material, spoke of the joy of fulfilling her lifelong dream and how Bluefield College made that possible for her and many other working adults through its inSpire degree completion program. Disney, who works in University Development at Virginia Tech, said a phrase her grandmother once shared with her provided additional inspiration. "If it's to be, it's up to me," she recalled her grandmother saying, and she challenged her fellow graduates to "use this same philosophy as you pursue greater endeavors after graduation." The Winter Commencement program also included induction for the grads into the BC Alumni Association, led by Alumni Council president Donald Kidds; a scripture reading from Dr. Kim Farmer, associate professor of criminal justice; and special music from student Melinda Blume and Bryant Moxley, assistant professor of music. Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Robert Shippey and Registrar Cathy Matherly joined Dr. Olive in the conferring of degrees. Bluefield College candidates for graduation for winter 2009 included: Jill S. Adams, Rocky Mount, Virginia Khalid Ali, Virginia Beach, Virginia Katrina Louise Anderson, Christiansburg, Virginia Stephanie P. Anderson, Marion, Virginia Laura H. Anglin, Hardy, Virginia Robin W. Atkins, Newport, Virginia Jeffrey Adam Bailey, Princeton, West Virginia Myra J. Barrett, Galax, Virginia Matthew John Beasley, Bland, Virginia Doriann Ray Breisch, Bluefield, West Virginia Kim Gentry Brown, Galax, Virginia Jessica Broyles, Bluefield, Virginia Wesley P. Brubaker, Christiansburg, Virginia Cassaundra Bryson, Galax, Virginia Daniel Matthew Bullion, Galax, Virginia Patricia Ann Bullion, Woodlawn, Virginia David Ray Burnette, Hillsville, Virginia Valerie Antionette Burwell, Richmond, Virginia Kimberly Denise Carroll, Pearisburg, Virginia Teresa Nicole Chambers, Vienna, Virginia Sharon A. Cheatham, Laurelton, New York Bonnie Erin Clark, Virginia Beach, Virginia April Dawn Conley, Narrows, Virginia Michael W. Cooper, Lynchburg, Virginia Doris DeLauder Custer, Midlothian, Virginia Amy Johnson Dail, Suffolk, Virginia Kristy Dianna Dale, Lebanon, Virginia Claudette Elizabeth Davis, Henrico, Virginia James E. De Ford, Sr., Dumfries, Virginia Eric Michael DeHaven, Hillsville, Virginia Kimberly Dawn Dillow, Hillsville, Virginia Cynthia Wells Disney, Lafayette, Virginia H. Andrew Dixon, Dayton, Ohio Jennifer Nicole Dixon, Roanoke, Virginia Fred Thomas Eanes, Jr., Earlysville, Virginia Becky Sue Foy, Bluefield, West Virginia Diana Marie Frederick, Fredericksburg, Virginia Inez B. Gilbert, Fredericksburg, Virginia Ronald Gravely, Newbern, Virginia Carol J. Green, Narrows, Virginia Jonathan Brent Hagee, Dublin, Virginia Ramona B. Hale, Elk Creek, Virginia Nathan Anthony Hall, Buena Vista, Virginia Renae Corell Hall, Peterstown, West Virginia Arlene Teresa Harris, Rawlings, Virginia Tanesha Neshell Harvey, Dublin, Virginia Summer Alicia Hess, Bluefield, Virginia Michael Lee Hewitt, Salem, Virginia Zandra McKee Hicks, Emporia, Virginia Brittney Lenee Horton, Wytheville, Virginia Erin Kaye Jones, Hampton, Virginia Caleigh Marie Keith, Roanoke, Virginia Lisa Lynn Kirkner, Christiansburg, Virginia Victoria R. Krein, Fredericksburg, Virginia Vanessa Renee Law, Narrows, Virginia Keela M. Lowry, Washington, D.C. Kevin S. McCall, Tazewell, Virginia Kendra Blakeney McManus, Matoaca, Virginia Sheila Marie Riffe Miller, Falls Mills, Virginia Denise D. Mitchell, Chesapeake, Virginia Brenda Gravley Morris, Dublin, Virginia Sarah M. Mota, Brownsville, Texas Jason Scott Mountz, Lynchburg, Virginia Chris Moye, Pearisburg, Virginia Laura Elizabeth Mullins, Wise, Virginia Pamela D. Necessary, Tazewell, Virginia Joanie Hope Newman, Galax, Virginia Theresa Deniece Norris, Richmond, Virginia Whitney A. O'Quinn, Tazewell, Virginia Patricia R. Ozella, Yorktown, Virginia Emily Suzanne Patsell, Goodview, Virginia Michaele "Mickey" Pellillo, Fairmont, West Virginia Sheena Quinn Pickett, Hillsville, Virginia Britney Leigh Pike, Tazewell, Virginia Jessica Lynn Poe, Bluefield, Virginia Shawn Thomas Pope, Springville, Virginia Michael Lee Price, Ivanhoe, Virginia Brian Neal Quesenberry, Hillsville, Virginia Norma Jean Quesinberry, Hillsville, Virginia Edwina E. Rasnake, Bluefield, Virginia Keith Andrew Reynolds, Fort Spring, West Virginia Michael D. Rose, Clintwood, Virginia Samuel John Shumate, Christiansburg, Virginia Jerry B. Shupe, Jr., Abb's Valley, Virginia Ryan Clayton Simpkins, Radford, Virginia Jo Ann Sipes, Woodbridge, Virginia Victor Alan Slade, Sr., Dinwiddie, Virginia Peter R. Smith, Lynchburg, Virginia Vicky D. Smith, Lacrosse, Virginia Wayne A. Smith, Stafford, Virginia Christopher Earl Snipes, St. Paul, Virginia Joseph Pace Snow, Galax, Virginia Brett E. Stallard, Haysi, Virginia Meghan Joy Stover, Chesapeake, Virginia Zachary Baine Tester, Tazewell, Virginia Susan Bishop Thomas, Christiansburg, Virginia Andrea Elizabeth Traynham, Roanoke, Virginia Darryl Turner, Kinsale, Virginia Robbin Whitaker Turner, Richmond, Virginia Rocco Michael Wahl, Locust Grove, Virginia Kanikia Ward, Farmville, Virginia Sara J. Warthan Chester, Virginia Keith Oswald Watts, Glen Allen, Virginia John Elden Weaver, Chesapeake, Virginia Stephen Lacy Weis, Richmond, Virginia Zari Nicholle White, Willis, Virginia Arletha S. Young, Emporia, Virginia.