MOUNT VERNON — The sun was shining brightly on 241 graduates as they marched toward the 50th convocation commencement of Mount Vernon Nazarene University at the R.R. Hodges Chapel auditorium on Saturday. As the graduating seniors were led into the auditorium by junior class marshals Kimberly Shaffer and Caleb Devolld, President Dr. Daniel J. Martin opened the ceremony in welcoming the graduate candidates, family and friends.
“The staff, faculty and administration are proud to join you as graduates in acknowledging your achievements and anticipate your service to the world as you leave this campus,” said Martin in addressing the class of 2012. “I believe God has a great future for each one of you. May God richly bless this time of celebration. And may he richly bless your lives in the days ahead.”
The University hymn, “Be Thou My Vision,” was led by Dr. Robert Tocheff; and the University scripture, II Corinthians 5:14-21, was read by Dr. Alexander Varughese.
Guest speaker for commencement was Bishop Timothy J. Clarke, who challenged the graduates that there are three things they need to know.
“First is you need to know yourself. Chances are in the rush of life, trying to be included, trying to fit in, you get lost,” said Clarke. “Today I challenge you ... now is the time to know yourself,” he said, in relating to Shakespeare’s “To Thine Own Self Be True,” and referring to John the Baptist as a hero, who when asked who he was, replied “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.”