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Release date: December 11 2004
Wayland graduates 65 in winter commencement ceremony

PLAINVIEW – Retired Lubbock businessman Mark Murdock encouraged new graduates of Wayland Baptist University to develop a meaningful relationship with God by holding to four absolutes in his commencement address at Saturday’s graduation ceremony.

              Murdock, who spent 37 years in the food brokerage business and another five as a vice president with the McDougal Companies, noted that a recent report from the Barna Company noted that only 3 percent of Christians surveyed said their relationship with God was satisfying.

              To combat that, he offered four absolutes that would deepen and maintain a relationship with God.

              “The first absolute is to live in complete obedience to the Word of God,” Murdock said. “It’s not enough to just read the Word of God or study the Word of God. It’s important that we live the Word of God.”

              Murdock also encouraged graduates and their families gathered in Harral Auditorium to appropriate the resources of the Holy Spirit every day and to acknowledge the call of God on their lives.

              “God calls each of us to salvation, and then to follow His will,” Murdock said. “God honors you when you’re faithful, so honor His call on your life.”

              In closing, Murdock urged graduates to commit themselves to living a Christian life of integrity, following the nature of God and the character of Christ.

              Graduating senior Zack Greer of Athens delivered the student address, urging his fellow classmates to see the day for its importance and to live a life above average.

              “This is a landmark in our lives, a time we can look back on and say we accomplished something, a time we can say we learned something, because we allowed ourselves to learn,” said Greer, a religion major who hopes to become a missionary. “Life is good, and we should enjoy it. Follow God and allow Him to change you. And never sacrifice the extraordinary things in life for the comforts of life.”

              Greer was among 65 receiving diplomas during Saturday’s ceremony, with two earning master’s degrees. Three students were recognized as highest ranking graduates, each finishing with a 4.0 grade point average. Plaques were presented to Shanna Buck, a religion major from Pampa, Kathryn Reed, a religious education major from Liberal, Kan., and Andrea Turner, a music education major from Plainview, recognizing the honor.

              Mo-lin Yeh of Plainview earned a Master of Business Administration degree, while Martin Lee Price of Fort Collins, Colo. received a Master of Christian Ministry degree.

              Earning Bachelor of Arts degrees were Danielle Dorcas-Askins of Plainview; Erica Balderrama of Socorro; Adam Beck of Snyder; Francis Blair of Crosbyton; Andrea Brown of Amarillo; Shanna Buck of Pampa; Joe Clay, Jr. of Shawnee, Okla.; Juli Earley of Plainview; Kelly Eason of Vernon; Zackary Greer of Athens; C.J. Hurst of Colorado City; Latasha Miller of El Paso; Crystal Morton of Friona and O’Donnell; Hermelinda Pantoja of Plainview; Joey Parsons of Amarillo; Andrew Pearson of Cortez, Colo.; Desiree Pharis of Plainview; Barbara Reed of Homestead, Fla.; Kathryn Reed of Liberal, Kan.; Ryan Reese of El Paso; Isaias Solorzano of Plainview; and Natalie Jo Walker of Plainview.

              Earning Bachelor of Business Administration degrees were Amber Barrera of Crowell; Brittain Biggs of Mason; Kay Burge of Rio Rancho, N.M.; Leigh Christensen of Ruidoso, N.M.; Nick Flanigan of Post; Kristol Hill of El Paso; Jonathan Lackey of Plainview; Calen Laos of Glendale, Ariz.; Nicole Matsuda of El Paso; Kyle Parker of Plainview; Ryan Vigil of Santa Fe, N.M.; and Chad Whisenant of Levelland.

              Two students earned Bachelor of Music degrees: Ashley Applewhite of Olney, and Andrea Turner of Plainview.

              Earning Bachelor of Science degrees were Jayson Adams of Lubbock; Aaron Borden of Plainview; Steven Coleman of Crosbyton; Elizabeth Feagin of Plainview; Andra French of Texline; Jason Henderson of Fence Lake, N.M.; Holly Hingst of Hale Center; Kyle Igo of Whiteface; Shanna Jackson of Lockney; Kenta Matsuda of Channelview; Paige Prince of Georgetown; Amy Smith of Lubbock; Dustin Sowders of Marlin; Kimberly Villanueva of Plainview; Russell Wilson of Coleman; and Debra Woodrow of Sweetwater.

              Earning Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degrees were Lisa Adkins of Andrews; Maegan Dyer-Conner of Pampa; Amy Gausin of Plainview; Kristin Holly of Plainview; Jessica Milligan of Pampa; Melissa Milner of Lander, Wyo.; and Laura Valles of Plainview.

              Earning the Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education degree were Sherre Kay Green of Plainview; Christina Negrete of Plainview; Heather Short of Plainview; and Hazel Taylor of Trinidad and Tobago.

              Former trustee and longtime supporter Eva Graham was presented an honorary bachelor of arts degree during the ceremony as well.