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Samford fall graduates encouraged to learn from pastcomment (0)

January 5, 2006

While acknowledging the challenges they will face in a rapidly changing world, a historian advised Samford University graduates that the choices they make in life are really still up to them.
“Each of us is the author of the book of our life in the choices we make. We write a new page every day,” said Edwin C. Bridges, director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, during fall commencement Dec. 17. 
About 200 seniors graduated during ceremonies in Wright Center Concert Hall.
“We cannot go back and change what has already been written, but we can learn from the past as we live today,” Bridges said.
He said real happiness is not achieved by direct pursuit but is a byproduct of some higher pursuit. 
“The kind of happiness that holds up over time grows out of lives dedicated to good work, service to others, love, the appreciation of life and beauty and spiritual growth.”  
Graduates included the first 17 recipients of the new nurse anesthesia degree. One of the 17, Sophia Quartey, was especially glad to receive the degree.
The 43-year-old wife and mother of three moved to Birmingham in fall 2003 to enroll in the 28-month-long program while her family remained at home in south Michigan. 
“I was approaching 40 and wanted to pursue this degree before I was too old,” Quartey said of her decision to follow her dream and earn the graduate degree. 
When she applied to nurse anesthesia programs closer to her Berrien Springs, Mich., home, she was told there would be a wait of several years before she could enroll. 
After she was admitted immediately to the new program at Samford’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, she and her family worked together to overcome the challenges presented by distance. 
Her husband, Matthew, who is also a nurse, rearranged his work schedule so that he could be at home more for their children, ages 7, 9 and 14. Daily telephone calls kept Mom, Dad and children in touch.
“My family has been very supportive, and it has been a wonderful experience but I’m glad I’m done,” Quartey said of her accomplishment.
As is the case with the other 16 nurse anesthesia graduates who received master of science in nursing degrees, Quartey already has a job lined up. 
She will begin work in trauma centers at two hospitals in Kalamazoo, Mich., in January.
Nationwide there is a 14 percent job-vacancy rate in the certified nurse anesthetist workforce, according to Michael Fiedler, chair of Samford’s department of nurse anesthesia.
Twenty-five graduates received degrees from Samford’s Beeson Divinity School, including:
Master of divinity — Matthew Wilson Andress, Pike Road; Terence L. Armstead, Jackson; Jonathan Michael Bundon, minister of contemporary music and worship, Mountain Brook Baptist Church, Birmingham; Reginald Wayne Calvert, Birmingham; James Dennis Chamberlain, minister of Hispanic ministries, Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Vestavia Hills; A. Scott Curtis, Homewood; Marcus Demond Davidson, Tuscumbia; Robert Timothy Haney, Tuscumbia; Carmine Anthony Pagliarullo, minister of students, Liberty Hill Baptist Church, Clanton; Cyd Starling Pagliarullo, Birmingham’s M-Power ministries; David Roshto, Tuscaloosa; Mark Adam Smith, Jasper; John Mark Snodgrass, Gardendale; Daniel Jared Sparks, Caddo; and James A. Tucker III, Birmingham.
Master of theological studies — Barbara Lewis Lowe, Northport.
Doctor of ministry — Letitia Marie Williams-Watford, Montgomery. (SU)
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