Welch College Graduates 56 in Commencement Exercises


GALLATIN, TN—Welch College conferred degrees on 56 students in its first commencement exercises on the new campus in Gallatin, TN, according to Provost Matthew McAffee. Commencement exercises were held in the Student Activities Center, its construction having been completed during the fall 2017 semester. The gymnasium space was converted into an auditorium with more than 700 seats for the Baccalaureate service on Thursday evening, May 10, and the Commencement ceremony on Friday morning, May 11. The college awarded degrees in multiple programs, including two-year associate’s degrees, four-year bachelor’s degrees, and the new Master of Arts degree in Theology and Ministry. Forty-four percent of the class graduated with honors.

Dr. Claude O. Pressnell, Jr., president of Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association, delivered the commencement address. He challenged graduates to pursue Christ’s call to glorify Him in their vocations and to transform the world for His kingdom. Dr. Robert Picirilli, professor emeritus of Welch College, presented Thursday evening’s baccalaureate sermon. He urged this year’s graduating class to consider how they will finish their course of life, drawing their attention to the words of Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

On Thursday afternoon, May 10, Welch’s second class of graduate students received the M.A. in Theology and Ministry and participated in the hooding ceremony, held in the Presidents Dining Room of Celorio Hall. Dr. Kevin Hester, dean of the School of Theology, charged these graduates regarding the importance of maintaining appropriate emphasis on both theological study and its application to life and ministry. A reception followed for graduates and their families.

President Matt Pinson recognized Physical Plant Director Bruce Bilbrey on his retirement for forty years of faithful service to Welch College. “His life of service showcases the call to glorify Christ in one’s vocation with excellence and hard work,” Pinson said. Mike Anderson, also a member of the maintenance department, was recognized for 25 years of faithful service to the college and Michael Oliver, program coordinator for Psychology and major gifts officer, was recognized for ten years of faithful service. President Pinson also honored Mr. Gary Turner on his retirement as Athletic Director and Program Coordinator for Exercise Science. Dr. Ron Callaway, Program Coordinator of Intercultural Studies, was named Academic Advisor of the Year.

The college commends to you and to the work of the Lord the members of the 2018 graduating class.

Associate of Science Degrees
Mariah Bonet Moore
Wellington, KS
Biology

Abby Danielle Walker
Washington, NC
Biology

Brittany Lynn Wilson
Willow Springs, NC
Business

Whitney Gail Wright
Lucasville, OH
Biology

Associate of Arts Degrees
Elisha Kenneth Cameron
Macon, GA

Andrew Michael Deel
Antioch, TN

Rachel Marie White
Bristol, VA

Bachelor of Science Degrees
Rachel Laine Anderson*
Pleasant View, TN
Child Development and Learning
Licensure K-5

Hunter Aaron Barnes
Guin, AL
General Christian Ministry

Samuel David Benninghoff***
New Bern, NC
General Christian Ministry

Lisa Marie Bromley
Joplin, MO
Music Performance

Jannai Rose Bullard
Virginia Beach, VA
Exercise Science
Gabriel William Cameron***
Macon, GA
Child Development and Learning
Licensure K-5

Benjamin Glynn Campbell
Pocahontas, AR
General Christian Ministry

Joshua Lewis Mohan Chapman*
Hannibal, MO
General Christian Ministry

Eleanor Brett Conley*
Eureka, MO
Business Administration

Eric Lansdon Cowart
Eastpointe, MI
General Christian Ministry

Jimmy Earl Daniels***
Reyno, AR
General Christian Ministry

Madison Haley Eastman*
Toney, AL
Business Administration

Camryn Allen Eaton
Cypress Inn, TN
General Christian Ministry

Alyssa Juanita Hill***
Norton, VA
Business Administration

Russell Douglas Houske*
Dover, TN
General Christian Ministry

JaTravius Charrod Jones
Atlanta, GA
Business Administration

Jonathan Andrew Lewis***
Chicago, IL
Exercise Science
Jacob Tyler Lute***
Wheelersburg, OH
Music Performance

Rae Ann Mahaney
Reynoldsburg, OH
General Christian Ministry

Hailee Renèe Mann**
Bristol, TN
Biology

Taylor Nicole Marsh*
Nashville, TN
Early Childhood
Licensure PreK-3
Child Development and Learning
Licensure K-5

Kendra Elizabeth Massey
Belmont, MS
Business Administration

Bailey Cheyenne Metcalf
Salem, IL
Psychology

Carlos Miguel Mireles
Miami, FL
Exercise Science

Mackenzie Blaire Moody***
Clayton, NC
Business Administration

Robert Gene Moore
Wilmington, NC
General Christian Ministry

Kayla Dawn Newland
Washington, NC
Biology

Samantha Diane Patton
Nashville, TN
Psychology

Tanner Christian Pruett
Greeneville, TN
Psychology

Taylor Austin Pruett
Greeneville, TN
Psychology

Maredith Claire Ryan*
Ina, IL
English Education
Licensure 6-12

Caleb Wayne Saunders
Seffner, FL
General Christian Ministry

Stephen Anthony Seeley*
Dallas, NC
General Christian Ministry

Kori LeeAnn Slemp
Manassas, VA
Child Development and Learning
Licensure K-5

Layton Gregory Smith*
Ozark, MO
General Christian Ministry

Sam Anthony Temple
Olive Branch, MS
Business Administration

Jacob Daniel Voltz
Magnolia, TX
Business Administration

Kennedy Ivana White
Pleasant View, TN
Biology

Josiah Carey Willis
New Bern, NC
Youth and Family Ministry

Whitney Gail Wright***
Lucasville, OH
Psychology

Bachelor of Arts Degrees
Stacy Nicole Allison***
Dickson, TN
Intercultural Studies

Damaris C. Hernandez*
Clinton, TN
Intercultural Studies

Brandon Kyle Presley*
Knoxville, TN
History

Michael Houston Pugh
Millington, TN
Pastoral Ministry

Matthew John Saunders**
Dover, TN
History

Abigail Catherine Settle*
Pleasant View, TN
History

Master of Arts Degrees
Joshua Adam Butler
Ahoskie, NC
Theology and Ministry

Franklin Todd Parrish
Gallatin, TN
Theology and Ministry

Ricky Wayne Taylor
Northport, Alabama
Theology and Ministry

Eric K. Thomsen
Joelton, TN
Theology and Ministry

*** Summa Cum Laude – 3.75
** Magna Cum Laude – 3.50
* Cum Laude – 3.25