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Samford holds first graduation in new Pete Hanna Centercomment (0)

January 3, 2008

The Scripture beneath the Samford University sign at the campus entrance in Birmingham sends a good message for graduates as they take their degrees into the future, Paul A. Richardson said during commencement exercises Dec. 15.

“I can’t think of a better sign for what we aim to do here and what we hope to inspire you to do beyond,” he said of the verse from Luke: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.”

Jesus would suggest that “heart” includes the will to do something, the will to be something, the will to make a commitment and carry it out, said Richardson, who teaches in Samford’s school of the arts.

“But ‘heart, soul and strength,’ even with the addition of ‘mind,’ isn’t a checklist,” said Richardson. “It is a way of saying that God, who has given us all we are, calls us to invest all we are.

“That is the Christian vocation — whether as teacher, lawyer, nurse, journalist or accountant.” Richardson delivered the fall commencement address as the current holder of the John H. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching.

About 3,000 faculty, family members and friends joined the 297 graduating seniors in the first graduation exercises to be held in Samford’s new Pete Hanna Center.

Samford President Andrew Westmoreland sent the new graduates forth with a request to “tell the world that you are from Samford, and that you are there to make a difference.”

“Go out there and do good things, be lifelong learners and be used of God to bring hope to the world,” he said.

He and his wife, Jeanna, hosted graduates and their families at a reception in the Hanna Center following the ceremony.

Earlier five Master of Accountancy degree candidates and 15 Master of Business Administration degree candidates were recognized during “hooding” ceremonies for Samford’s Brock School of Business.

On Dec. 14, 31 graduates of Samford’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing participated in the traditional pinning ceremony. Also that day, Benjamin Edward Dennis was commissioned a second lieutenant through Samford’s Air Force ROTC unit. Dennis received a bachelor’s degree in computer science during graduation exercises. (SU)

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