Record Number Graduate During Winter Commencement
On December 18, more than 300 students received their diplomas from Southern Adventist University during winter commencement in Iles P.E. Center. The 200 undergraduate students and 113 graduate students combined to set a record total for this mid-year ceremony.
James L. Catanzaro, president of Chattanooga State Community College, provided the keynote address before a standing-room only crowd and December graduate Eric Louw supplied the class response. Several other graduating students participated as well, delivering the invocation, welcome, special music, and benediction. Robert Gadd, professor in the School of Business and chair of the University Senate, served as grand marshal. John Nixon, professor in the School of Religion, and Kendra Stanton-Lee, assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Communication, were senior class sponsors.
This was the fourth consecutive year winter graduation has set all-time highs for participation. The large number of graduates is due, in part, to the university’s increasing diversity of master’s level degrees and their course scheduling flexibility. Many graduate programs—especially those in nursing, social work, business, and education—require some form of practicum or summer work and the winter ceremony allows those students to march in December rather than waiting until the following May.
Southern currently enrolls more than 430 students in 17 graduate level programs, including the university’s first doctoral degree and a new global community development curriculum. For more information, visit the Graduate Studies website.