Southeastern University will hold its Spring Commencement at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 4, 2012, at the Lakeland Center.
Southeastern University will award 321 baccalaureate degrees and 34 master’s degrees to students in business and legal studies, education, Christian ministries and religion, behavioral and social sciences, and liberal arts. The total number of graduates for the 2011-12 academic year at Southeastern is 562, which will bring the total number of graduates from the institution to 10,199.
In addition to conferring academic degrees at the ceremony, Southeastern will also institute a new tradition – President Kent Ingle will present each student with a hand towel embroidered with the image of the Divine Servant statue, the statue of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet that sits at the center of the campus. Ingle said it is his hope that the towel “will be a constant reminder to our graduates that they are going to change the world through serving in the spirit of Christ.”
This year’s Spring Commencement will feature an address to the graduates by Mark Batterson, who serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C. National Community Church meets in movie theaters and metro stops throughout the D.C. area. The church has 10 services in six locations and is recognized as one of the Most Innovative and Influential Churches in America by Outreach Magazine. Batterson is also the bestselling author of The Circle Maker and In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day.
Two students, Lauren Benton and Cody Tessler, will also be recognized during Friday’s ceremony. Benton, a December 2011 graduate in Business Leadership and International Business, will receive the Servant Leadership Award for her exemplary leadership. She is currently working with disadvantaged children in an orphanage in Honduras.
Tessler, a Secondary Mathematics major, will receive the Southeastern University Award for his demonstrated high academic standards, superior leadership qualities and service to improve the quality of life for others.
Board member Max Yeary will receive the President’s Award for his contributions to the university, and Dr. Ed Plastow, professor of Management, will receive the Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award.
Immediately following Commencement, two students will receive commissions as officers in the United States Army. Cadet Derek Bammer, who will graduate with a degree in Practical Ministry, is commissioning into the Corps of Engineers and will be going on Active Duty. Cadet James Lake, a Church Ministry major, is commissioning into the Field Artillery branch and will be going in the Florida Army National Guard.
The service will be streamed live on Southeastern’s Web site.