Friends and family members gathered in the Triangle to witness Bryan College’s 98th Commencement Ceremony. Tennessee’s fiftieth governor, Bill Lee, served as the keynote commencement speaker.
A seventh-generation Tennessean, Governor Lee resides in Franklin with his wife, Maria. After graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, he returned home to join the family business his grandfather started in 1944, the Lee Company. In 1992, he assumed the role of president. Under his leadership, the company has grown into a comprehensive facilities solutions and home services company that now employs more than 1,200 individuals and has won numerous awards for work culture and business accomplishments. He is an active member in his local church, Grace Chapel, as well as a devoted father and grandfather.
The governor gave a moving testimony regarding his own faith journey and the loss of his first wife. He quoted extensively from Job, reflecting on God’s confidence in Job as a man of God, even despite tragedy.
“My prayer for each one of you,” he concluded, “is that you go from here and you walk through life with an eye on the prize. Don’t look to the left and don’t look to the right, but remind yourself of where you’re headed, and know who you are and never veer from it. And the favor of God will follow you all the days of your life.”
In total, 151 degrees were awarded: 23 masters, 122 bachelors, and 6 associates. Timothy Hostetler received the Highest Scholastic Record award, an honor that goes to the senior who achieves the highest GPA with at least 112 completed semester hours. Gage Goddard and Hollen Christensen were both recipients of the faculty-nominated P.A. Boyd Award, while Grace Graves received the award for Most Progress.
Timothy Hostetler served as the student commencement speaker for the graduating class, providing a time for seniors to reflect on their accomplishments and progress over the last four years. “I challenge you… to be humble, people-loving servants in your homes and the local church, and in the desperately needy world. When you live this way, God will be glorified. You will be satisfied. And you will truly be living with the motto – Christ above all.”
President Stephen Livesay recognized two retiring staff and faculty during the ceremony: Dr. Ron D. Petitte and Dr. Sigrid Luther. The graduating class of 1969 were also recognized by Dr. Livesay for reaching the 50th anniversary of their own undergraduate graduation.