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.