May 12, 2014 | Leave a Comment
Campbell University conferred 1,038 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees over five graduation ceremonies May 9 and May 10. In her commencement speech during the main ceremony Saturday, Dr. Karen McNeil-Miller, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Foundation, encouraged the students to make the most of their graduation day, because it was one of the few days in their life that it was all about them.
“The day you’re born is all about you. Your funeral is all about you. Unfortunately, you don’t get to enjoy either of those events,” she said. So enjoy graduation, she said, but then move past it.
“Come tomorrow, it’s not about you anymore,” she said. “All the other days in your life should be about somebody else. They should be about you being in service to or in service for somebody else.”
Below are profiles of 15 of Campbell’s newest alumni who exemplify the ways the university prepares its students to do that. Whether as pastors, health professionals, teachers, intelligence specialists, zookeepers, or elected officials, among numerous other professions, Campbell alumni set out to serve others and their communities.
If you’re in Florida this summer, stop by Zoo Miami and say hey to Cindy Blankenship ’14, the aquatics and ectotherms keeper. (Also be sure to ask her about the 15 reptiles she owns.)
Veteran Mario Bonilla ’14 hopes to someday work for an intelligence agency like INTERPOL, which made the homeland security program at Campbell an ideal fit for him.
As a member of the Master of Science in Public Health charter class, Jonathan Bridges ’14 MSPH is showing how the field can changes lives, even his own.
Meredith Brown ’14 wanted to set an example for her four children, so she returned to college after a 20-year absence with two goals in mind: graduate with a 4.0 GPA and become a teacher.
With three degrees and two minors from Campbell’s School of Business in 4½ years, the doors are wide open for Dominik Kaniewski ’14 MBA.
Lynne Castles ’14 has served as the sign language interpreter for James Kearney ’14 since he was in the 8th grade. God put them together, Castles says, so it was fitting they graduated together.
The religion department is a “family of 50” that grows together in faith, James Demmel ’14 said. He’s going to miss that family as he continues his studies at Duke Divinity School in the fall.
Caleb Johnson ’14 transferred to Campbell unsure if he would fit in at the school. With law school up next and a Homecoming King crown under his belt, it’s safe to say he thrived here.
Yanneka King ’14 JD attended Campbell Law because she wants to change higher education in North Carolina -- and she wants to become the state’s governor.
Sonie Lama ’14 PharmD, ’14 MSCR wanted to set herself apart from other scientists and create as many career opportunities as possible, so she came to Campbell University and ended up landing a prestigious fellowship.
Hannah McClellan ’14 has spent the past four years cheering on the Campbell football and basketball teams. Her focus will soon shift to cheering on the students in her classroom.
David Priddy ’08, ’14 MDIV graduates from Campbell Divinity School with a deeper respect for community and scripture.
Though Brandon Wilson ’14 began his college search in California -- far, far away from his hometown of Cary, N.C., -- he feels lucky to have ended up at Campbell, where his father is an associate professor of music.
As the co-founder of two ministry groups that aim to make religion accessible to all people, Jordan Zepher ’14 will leave quite a legacy at Campbell. And the lessons from Campbell she’ll take with her? That even doubt can strengthen faith.