Following one of the most challenging years in the university’s 64-year history, graduating students from both December ’20 and May ’21 were able to celebrate during three different commencement ceremonies held in the Rip Griffin Center.
The ceremony normally held to honor December graduates was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 precautions, much like the one slated for last spring. With available vaccines and greatly decreased local case numbers, the decision to add a second undergraduate ceremony to accommodate graduates from both semesters was an easy one for LCU leadership.
The graduate commencement ceremony was held Friday night, celebrating 60 students completing their graduate coursework in education, nursing, psychology and counseling, and Bible. On Saturday, two more ceremonies separated the graduates of the B. Ward Lane College of Professional Studies and the School of Business from the Al and Pat Smith College of Biblical Studies, the Hancock College of Liberal Arts, and the School of Education in 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. ceremonies, respectively. All three commencements were held inside the Rip Griffin Center.
The speaker for the graduate commencement was LCU’s own Dr. Susan Blassingame, Dean of the J.E. & Eileen Hancock College of Liberal Arts. She has been a member of LCU’s humanities faculty for the past 28 years, and her tenure includes appointments to chair multiple departments before being named dean in 2009. A highly successful career culminated in this speech, as Dr. Blassingame retires at the end of May 2021.
Alan Rhodes, attorney, business professional, and member of the LCU Board of Trustees, is a 1980 graduate of Lubbock Christian University and a shareholder at Underwood Law Firm in Amarillo. He spoke at both ceremonies on May 8 and shared with the undergraduate candidates about the importance of a life full of kindness and the fruits that it often brings.
“LCU is blessed with incredible students, but maybe none more amazing than this year’s graduating class,” shared Dr. Foy Mills, Provost and Chief Academic Officer. “They persevered through one of the most challenging years in recent history. Their overwhelming desire to ‘see this through to the end’ propelled them to successfully navigate the global pandemic we have all experienced. Congratulations to our graduates. I anticipate the great things they will accomplish in the days ahead.”