The University of Mobile (UM) Class of 2018 is prepared to tackle the world’s many challenges, commencement speaker David Dockery told graduates during an outdoor ceremony on campus May 5. More than 3,000 family and friends gathered beneath live oaks on the Lackey Great Commission Lawn to celebrate the accomplishments of 236 graduates.
“Your distinctive University of Mobile education has prepared you well to bring together serious learning, genuine worship and authentic service — something that will be symbolized today as you touch the globe on your way out as a commitment to serve this world,” said Dockery, president of Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, and a senior statesman in the world of Christian higher education who also happens to be an Alabama native.
Dockery told graduates that authentic service is built on genuine worship.
‘A genuine strength’
“People who have truly worshipped God will discover a genuine strength and are able to enter the world and touch lives and meet needs and counsel hurts, to speak to injustices while bearing witness to and sharing with others the Good News of Jesus Christ.
“The challenges that are facing our 21st century world need to be met with and engaged by men and women like you, characterized by true wisdom, caring kindness and grace-filled lives which are grounded in the truth of the gospel,” he said.
“You’ve been prepared by this university with its distinctive mission to take the next step of your journey. … I urge you to take seriously what it means to be a wise and worshipping Christ-follower in a post-Christian world, to be a guide to the truth, an agent of reconciliation and an instrument of wisdom in a way that is imaginatively compelling, emotionally engaging and aesthetically enhancing, leading to authentic flourishing,” Dockery said.
Referring to the Scripture verse on the university’s seal, Proverbs 9:10, Dockery said his prayer is that graduates will flourish as they live out these words: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
“May the fear of God, the very love and worship of the triune God — Father, Son and Spirit — be an entranceway into a life of wisdom, a life characterized by love, humility and service to others,” Dockery said.
Committing to serve others
As new graduates left the ceremony, carrying diplomas presented by UM President Timothy L. Smith, they touched the Great Commission Globe fountain in the center of the lawn. This new tradition signifies graduates’ commitment to serve others and spread the message and love of Jesus Christ as they fulfill their professional calling in the world.
UM also presented its two top awards during the commencement ceremony.
The 2018 Annie Boyd Parker Weaver Excellence Award was presented to Abbie George Maggio, of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Maggio received bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and worship leadership. She is an honors with thesis program graduate, earning the President’s Scholastic Achievement Award and graduating summa cum laude. She also received the area award in philosophy. Since 2016 she has served as a worship leader for the university’s True Spin and Chapel programs.
The 2018 William K. Weaver Jr. Excellence Award was presented to Corey Stevan Wheaton, of Scottsdale, Arizona. Wheaton received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He received the Area Award in Mathematics and graduated magna cum laude. He was a member of the UM Rams baseball team and was chosen SSAC Player of the Week in March 2018. (UM)
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