Families, friends packed Allen Arena for spring 2011 commencement ceremony

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President L. Randolph Lowry
University of Georgia President Mike Adams

In its 120th year, Lipscomb University graduated its largest group of students ever at the spring 2011 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7.

The ceremonies were highlighted by:
  • The graduation of Lipscomb’s first three Yellow Ribbon scholarship students;
  • The graduation of Paul Mator Manyok, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan;
  • A reunion for the Class of 1961, which donated the ever-present Bison statue to the college, and
  • Comments by the 2011 Alumnus of the Year Mike Adams, president of the University of Georgia.
“There are many differences in the Lipscomb when I was here and the Lipscomb of today,” said Adams, a 1970 graduate. “Yet in many ways my Lipscomb and your Lipscomb are… the same… There is a set of core values that we all share. There are places around campus where we’ve all walked that feel familiar to us all. While this is clearly a different place, I felt more at home here than at any time over the past 40 years.”
With consistently rising enrollments in the past five years and the addition of 38 new programs, the number of students graduating also continues to rise. Prior to semester's end, the university expected to hand out 573 degrees at the ceremony, to students graduating in May and August 2011.
  • The university awarded its first Masters of Human Resources and Masters of Arts in Christian Ministry degrees to August graduates.
  • The 2011 graduating classes of May and August included 210 master’s level graduates and 362 bachelor's degree graduates.
  • The Lipscomb College of Business awarded 61 bachelor’s degrees, 44 Master of Business Administration degrees and 15 Master of Accountancy degrees, the most in its history.


Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry told the students at the ceremony: 

“Graduates you all came as consumers and now you leave as our product. Out of all the universities you could have gone to, you chose to come to Lipscomb. We are thrilled that you did. You have contributed to it. You have helped us develop it. You have created its reputation as it now stands.

"We have sought to education you. We have sought to mold and develop you. We have sought to give our professional lives as you have prepared for your professional lives. And, I want you to remember as you leave that we have given our best to you and you are outstanding people.

"We hope that you leave ready to serve a needy world and we hope and want you to always recognize that you are part of the herd. You are part of the Bison herd. You will always be part of Lipscomb University. No matter what your circumstance. No matter what challenges and joys you have in life, this will always be a university home for you.”

Paul Mator Manyok (far right) is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and a Lipscomb graduate. The rain went away in time for plenty of family photos on the Allen Arena Mall.


Honor Graduates
Lipscomb recognized
eight graduates with 4.0 GPAs.
Rebecca Joy Bennie
Ericka Darlene Blackwell
Richard Warren Forehand
Audrey Rose Head
Kayla Joy Marsh
Amanda Mary Martin
Anna Kristina Midget
 Leslie Anne Shilling
Outstanding Teacher Awards
Those who receive this annual award are selected through nominations by faculty and a vote by faculty and the senior class.
Dr. Alan Bradshaw,
Associate Professor of Physics
Dr. Beth Conway,
Assistant Professor of Biology
Dr. Matt Hearn,
Professor of English
SALT Scholars
Students who completed additional service requirements,including a senior capstone project, are recognized as SALT (Serving and Learning Together) Scholars.
Brooke LaShea Baird
Rebecca Joy Bennie
Amanda Lee Bowers
Nicole Renae Brasfield
Shanley Frances Deignan
Shelby L. Farrell
Olivia Nicole Heard
Patrick Blake McAnally
Brandon James Moss
William Carson Reed
Robert Jackson Sprayberry
John William Baker
Summer Fellowship Award
Dr. Fort Gwinn, Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Stephen Lee Marsh Award
Anna Kristina Midgett
Lipscomb offers a tuition-free education to military veterans who qualify for the Yellow Ribbon program under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. These are the first three to graduate. More friends and family than ever before showed up to see Lipscomb's largest class receive their degrees.