SWU’s Class of 2015 receives degrees


Staff Report



Jonathan Stegenga of Pickens takes a selfie with Devri Burdick of Charlotte following commencement ceremonies May 8 at Southern Wesleyan University in Central. Stegenga received a BS in intercultural studies and Burdick received a BS in Special Education.


Courtesy photo

CENTRAL – Southern Wesleyan University awarded 262 graduates with degrees during two commencement ceremonies May 8 on its campus in Central.

The commencement speaker was be John H. Dickey, a SWU human resources graduate who has served as an advisor to the CEO of Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. and as a senior vice president.

Dickey offered two challenges to the 2015 graduating class: To define their gifts, and to establish a “Top 5” list of long-term goals.

“Align your gifts with your work. Seize opportunities that will put you on a pathway that drives learning and growth. I am confident you can become anything you wish to be. You must work hard, you must be very disciplined. You must put others before yourself,” Dickey said. ”Helping others gives you great attitude and great purpose. Studying in a Christ-centered community establishes habits that facilitate personal growth and service to others.”

Dickey urged graduates who will live and work as professionals in a secular culture to “Always bear witness to Christ through your actions.”

During the ceremony, University President Todd Voss presented Dickey with an honorary doctor of humane letters.

Highlights of the ceremony included a presentation to Dr. Keith Connor, professor of physical education and long-time athletic director, naming him Faculty Emeritus. Earlier on Friday, the university held its Baccalaureate, featuring a “ceremony of the servants” in which graduates of the traditional programs received towels – a symbol of Christian service – embroidered with the Southern Wesleyan University seal.

Cmdr. Dennis K. Andrews, Chaplain Corps, United States Navy, and a minister in The Wesleyan Church, delivered the baccalaureate sermon. Later in the service, Andrews’ gave a congratulatory hug to his son, Corbin Andrews, who received his history degree at commencement.

The spring 2015 graduates included:

Anderson: Carolyn Amelia Fesperman, MED in Classroom Leadership; Michael Lieberman, BS in Recreation and Leisure Studies.

Central: Stefannie Agudelo, BS in Business Administration; Emily Caroline Bloxdorf, Master of Business Administration; James Matthew Burrell, BS in Physical Education; Shyla Sharae Coleman, BS in Biology; Brittany Lynn Conaway, BS in Special Education; Darren William Gessner, BS in Business Administration; Gregory L. Kelley, Master of Business Administration; Gavin Potter, BA in Religion, Magna Cum Laude; Tanner Fulton Lambert, BA in Music, Cum Laude; Bruno Toma Liozzi, BS in Business Administration; Julio Alejandro Lara Milanes, BS in Business Administration; Joao Paulo de Oliveira e Silva, BS in Computer Information Systems; Valentino Zaglia, BS in Business Administration, Cum Laude.

Clemson: Larrisa Lanise McDowell, Master of Business Administration; Eric B. Newton, Master of Business Administration; Jessica Beeco Newton, Master of Business Administration Kimberly Nicole Shivar, BS in Biology, Cum Laude; James Lyall Wilson, AA in General Studies.

Easley: Zackary D. Adams, BA in Media Communication; T. Scott Banks, Master of Business Administration; Shekela R. Bradley, Master of Business Administration; Colby Alyse Dickard, BS in Intercultural Studies, Cum Laude; Brenda L. Dotson, BS in Human Services; Edward William Hanson, AA in General Studies; Nikole Thrasher Hanson, Master of Business Administration; Joshua Lee Kernells, BS in Human Services; Jennifer Lauren Kuder, BS in Biology; Melody Rose Loder, BS in Social Science; Jacqueline McDaniels Martin, BS in Special Education, University Honors; Nathaniel Nauss, Master of Business Administration Jeremy D. Price, BS in Human Services; John Scott Shead, BS in Business Management, Cum Laude; Heather Mullinax Stelling, MED in Classroom Leadership; James Arthur Trotter, BS in Applied Computer Science.

Liberty: Brian Derrick Craft, Master of Business Administration; Melissa Halbert, AA in General Studies; Kimberly Michelle Hawkins, BS in Elementary Education, Cum Laude; Rosemary Mackey, BS in Mathematics Education, Cum Laude; Rebecca Lauren Ramey, BS in Mathematics Education, Magna Cum Laude.

Pendleton: Brandon James Loftus, MED in Administration and Supervision.

Pickens: Caitlin Marie Cummings, BS in Early Childhood Education; Jesse D. Eller, BA in Chemistry; John Tanner Gibson, BA in Media Communication; Caroline Grace Hudson, BS in Elementary Education, Summa Cum Laude; Cassaundra Faith James, BS in Special Education, Magna Cum Laude; Zachery Wayne Loftis, BS in Applied Computer Science; Jennifer Leslie Mulkey, BS in Mathematics Education, Magna Cum Laude; Breanna Jordan Owens, BS in Psychology; Laura Elizabeth Porter, AA in General Studies (presented posthumously); Teresa Hayes Sales, AA in General Studies; Jonathan Mark Stegenga, BS in Intercultural Studies; Matthew Allen Trotter, BA in Religion; Michael Fred Welborn, BS in Business Management, Cum Laude.

Piedmont: Matthew Eric Buss, BS in Business Administration; Valerie Ann Griffiths, BS in Social Science Shelby E. Straight, BS in Human Services; Tonyor Brooks Taylor, BS in Business Management.

Jonathan Stegenga of Pickens takes a selfie with Devri Burdick of Charlotte following commencement ceremonies May 8 at Southern Wesleyan University in Central. Stegenga received a BS in intercultural studies and Burdick received a BS in Special Education.
http://pickenssentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_swugraduates2015.jpgJonathan Stegenga of Pickens takes a selfie with Devri Burdick of Charlotte following commencement ceremonies May 8 at Southern Wesleyan University in Central. Stegenga received a BS in intercultural studies and Burdick received a BS in Special Education. Courtesy photo

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