Thirty students conferred degrees at the 2013 Commencement ceremonies

The Wake Forest University School of Divinity conferred Master of Divinity degrees upon thirty students at the school’s twelfth commencement ceremonies held May 18-20. One student received the dual degree Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Counseling.

On Saturday, May 18, the graduating class gathered with faculty, family, and friends in Wake Forest University’s Wait Chapel to receive their masters’ hoods. Held on Pentecost Eve, the ceremony reminded graduates’ of their call to carry God’s fire into the world through the ways they live their lives. E. Frank Tupper, Professor of Theology, was the class-selected speaker and gave the address titled, “The Story, the Church, and the Nons.” Tupper’s sincere and, at times, witty remarks emphasized that graduates must teach with integrity and continue to learn with responsibility.

On Monday, May 20, the diploma ceremony was held in the Kulynych Auditorium at the University’s Porter Byrum Welcome Center. Dean Gail R. O’Day gave remarks titled, “For the Birds,” and offered wisdom from the Parable of the Mustard Seed as read in Mark 4. She said, “Some days you will tell yourself that you’ve done nothing of greater significance other than sewing a tiny mustard seed.” However, she pointed out that a mustard seed does not grow into a tree, but rather a plant, and as the parable states is enough to provide shade for the birds of heaven. She closed, “Leave here in the sure confidence that a mustard seed may not look like much, but it is enough to reshape the world one small seed at a time, and leave here knowing ministry is for the birds.” 

During the diploma ceremony, several graduates were recognized for their achievements.

Caleb Pusey received The Christian Education Award, which is given to the senior who has demonstrated significant competency and interest in Christian Education theory and practice. Caleb received the award for his leadership and passion for moving environmental concerns to the center of Christian Education and theological education.

Mandy Mizelle received the Spirituality and Arts Award, which honors the understanding and active engagement of a student in spirituality and arts. Mandy received the award for her leadership and creative work on The Tablet, a bi-weekly student journal publication.

Molly Brummet and Chris Hughes received the Jerry M. Crainshaw Preaching Award, which is provided by the Crainshaw family in memory of their father, who was a strong supporter of the art of preaching. The award honors those seniors who are committed to excellent preaching.

John Carroll received the Margaret Woodford Guthrie Prize, which is provided by Wiley C. Guthrie (’52) in honor of his wife, to a student who has a superior scholarship record, a personality suited to the requirements of Christian ministry, and who has effectively participated in the school’s activities.

Skyler Daniel, LaTonya McIver, and Baylee Smith were awarded The John Thomas and Dorothy Porter Award in Vocational Formation and Community Ministry, which was established in honor of Dr. John Thomas Porter, one of America’s leading civil rights advocates, and Dorothy Porter, an outstanding musician and soloist widely known throughout the United States. The award is given to those students who have demonstrated significant commitment and leadership in justice, reconciliation, and compassion.

Khelen Kuzmovich and Amy Russell received the Ashley and Whitney Walker Award, which is named for the daughters of Dale Walker (’65) and is given to those students who demonstrate academic excellence, initiative in ministerial pursuits, and particular concern for woman-centered topics from a theological perspective.

Jonathan Tennial received the Worship Leadership Award, which is given to the senior who has provided significant leadership within the school’s chapel program and who has shown exceptional ability, insight, and creativity in the study, design, and leadership of worship.

Molly Brummett, John Carroll, Kolby Knight, and Khelen Kuzmovich received the Academic Achievement Award, which is given to those students who have the highest cumulative grade point averages.

Congratulations to the Class of 2013!

Photos from the Hooding Ceremony will be available soon.


Related Links of Interest

View this year’s list of graduates here
“I’m Called” – The Class of 2013 expresses their call
Meet Skyler Daniel – Wake Forest University Featured Graduate Profile
Listen to Dean O’Day’s remarks:
[audio:/uploads/audio/wfusd.2013.diplomaceremony.oday.mp3|titles=For the Birds, Diploma Ceremony 2013]


 Media Contact: Mark Batten


Categories: Graduation, News