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‘Be just, merciful, humble,’ Vines tells Samford graduatescomment (0)

January 2, 2014

‘Be just, merciful, humble,’ Vines tells Samford graduates

Health care insurance official Tim Vines told Samford University graduates they should “rejoice” in their accomplishment and strive to make a difference in the world.

“Rejoice to celebrate where you are,” Vines said, “but remember the sacrifice of others that helped you get there.”

Vines, chief administrative officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, addressed a fall graduating class of about 250 in Wright Center at Samford in Birmingham on Dec. 14, 2013. About 1,800 attended the ceremony.

Vines encouraged the graduates to “resist the temptation to complain” but rather to “go out and make a difference” by working for change. “My encouragement is that you will be a blessing to others,” he said. “Be just, be merciful, be humble.”

Vines, a member of the Samford board of trustees, asked the graduates to stress “honesty, integrity and uprightness” in their lives. “Be the best that you can be.”

A graduate of Auburn University with a degree in finance, Vines is a member of various community service boards and is a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Vestavia Hills.

Samford President Andrew Westmoreland recognized two members of the class who Dec. 13 were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force through Samford’s AFROTC program: Diana Kathleen Hudson and Jaime Lee Richter, both nursing majors. They received a rousing ovation.

Samford provost and executive vice president J. Bradley Creed told the newest graduates of Samford’s Beeson Divinity School that, like Jesus, they will always be going places.

But to follow Jesus Christ’s command to go, one must be willing to be sent, and that is different from being willing to go,  Creed said during Beeson’s fall commencement Dec. 4.

“When you are sent, you really start to go places,” said Creed, who advised the graduates that they must freely receive before they can freely give and be sent.

Beeson’s 23-member fall graduating class included one master of arts in theological studies degree recipient, 19 master of divinity degree recipients and three doctor of ministry degree recipients.

In addition to a diploma each graduate received a copy of the Holy Scriptures, a gesture that underscores that the commencement program was a combination graduation ceremony and consecration service.

As is Beeson tradition, a shipment of Bibles has been sent to a missions field in the name of the graduating class. This time Bibles in the Khalkh language will go to an unreached people group in northern Mongolia, where recent Beeson graduate Gantumur Badrakh and his wife, Deeggi, work with Cru. The Scriptures will be distributed to the Tsaatan people in the most remote part of the subarctic taiga.


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