by Rebecca Sneed
Hannibal Courier-Post
May 11, 2015

Hannibal Courier-PostBeautiful weather reflected the bright spirits of approximately 250 graduates as they walked across the stage in ceremonial regalia to shake the hand of Hannibal LaGrange University’s President, Dr. Anthony Allen, and receive their diplomas on Saturday, May 9.

“The greatest joy that I have as president is to see our students discover, develop, and demonstrate God’s purpose for their lives,” said Allen in his welcoming remarks. “For the graduating class of 2015, this day marks the achievement of goals set long ago, and met through diligent study and hard work and personal sacrifice.”

The commencement address was brought by Dr. Rod Martin an HLGU trustee and distinguished visiting professor. Martin, founder and CEO of The Martin Organization, is a technology entrepreneur, futurist, fund manager, and author from Destin, Fla.

Martin’s address centered on the great technology and future that is knocking on the door.

“There is a golden age upon us, but the challenge for you lies in this, not merely will you rise to the opportunities before you, but will it be the kind of golden age that you want to live in, that you want your grandchildren to live in? Because it could just as easily be a golden age like that of Nineveh, or Babylon, or Rome where everything glitters, but everything is barbaric. That is entirely in your hands. So take what you got here for the last four years and do something great with it,” said Martin. “I want to charge you to go out and make us proud. This can be the greatest time in human history so far. Make it that.”

Following the presentation of graduates, Laya Yammout and Nathan Hammock, nominated Who’s Who Among Seniors at HLGU, led the graduates in the graduate pledge and in giving a standing ovation to thank all friends and family for their support.

Also at commencement, the Parkway Distinguished Professor Award was presented to Dr. Donald Colborn. The award is given by Parkway Baptist Church in St. Louis and selection is based on outstanding professional and personal contributions to Christian education.

Colborn has devoted 12 years of full-time service to Hannibal-LaGrange University where he currently serves as professor of biology. Colborn earned his associates degree from HLGU in 1983. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees in animal science from the University of Missouri in ’85 and ’87 respectively.

He then went on to earn a Ph. D. in animal science with specializations in physiology and endocrinology from Louisiana State University in 1990. In 1994 he completed a post-doctoral fellowship at West Virginia University. Colborn has authored or co-authored and published nine technical articles.

Additionally, he serves as the faculty athletic representative and has participated in and led various mission trips over his time here.

In addition, HLGU also honors one staff member each year. The staff member of the year has been awarded since 2010 and includes nominations by fellow staff members with a vote of affirmation by the administration.

This year, the award went to Christy Perkins. Perkins has been a member of the HLGU staff since 1995 and will be retiring in the fall. Currently she fills the role of campus operator, along with many other responsibilities, including sending out daily announcements to the campus. Her announcements always include general campus happenings but also include more personal moments, such as the birth of an employee’s child, a birthday, or loss of a loved one, so that employees may share in both celebrations and sufferings.

Most importantly, she always includes an encouraging passage of scripture. Perkins is also very involved in her church.

Special music during the ceremony was presented by Jessica Spurgeon ’08, Nathan Hammock ’14, and Patrick Hedges ’05. Accompanied by Janis Newbold, the trio performed the song “You Raise Me Up.”

Prior to the ceremony, the graduates processed through the HLGU arch on the traditional Walk of Honor, symbolizing the end of their schooling and their entrance into the world as college graduates.


Hannibal LaGrange University Celebrates Commencement originally appeared at Hannibal Courier-Post.