News & Events
Mars Hill College Presents Graduate Diplomas for the First Time, 140 Baccalaureate Degrees
For the very first time in its history, Mars Hill College conferred graduate degrees on 12 of the 152 students who graduated Saturday morning, May 11, in Moore Auditorium.
The twelve individuals who made up the first cohort of graduate students at Mars Hill College received the degree of Master of Education (M.Ed.) in elementary education. Another 140 students received baccalaureate degrees, with the top three majors being business, social work and education.
In addition, Mars Hill presented an honorary doctorate of humane letters to the family of Emmett Sams, professor emeritus of mathematics. Sams, who taught mathematics at Mars Hill College for 46 years (1947 – 1993), passed away on April 2, 2013.
His daughters, Rebecca Sams Ellis and Paula Sams Manning, accepted the degree on their father’s behalf at a memorial service on the campus May 6.
Dr. Michael Blackwell, President and CEO of Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, was the keynote speaker for the graduation. Blackwell told the graduates that commencement exercises mark the commencement of “a splendid and largely unknown journey that will take you to places and experiences about which you could have never dreamed.”
Blackwell referenced the biblical Mars Hill in Acts 17 to encourage the graduates to “never fail to astonish.” When the Apostle Paul famously defended the Christian faith from center of philosophical, religious and intellectual debate he did so with a “secret ingredient that so few people discover in life…That ingredient is passion.”
Passion, according to Blackwell, astonished the elites of Paul’s day, and it will astonish the cynics of our day.
“In your journey, be on the lookout for God’s great surprises in your life,” Blackwell said. “Know when God is tapping you on the shoulder.”
Failing to seize the opportunities of life will lead to regrets. “Too many people go to their graves with their music still inside them and their poetry unwritten,” Blackwell said.
“Constantly ask yourself, ‘What did I do to make life better?’” Hear your music before the song is over!”
Student speakers for the graduation were Corrine Roberts and Michael Mace. Roberts is an English major from Frederica, DE and Mace is business management major in the Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) program from Weaverville, NC.
The invocation was given by Margaret Redford, an athletic training major from Chatham, VA. Andrew Hebert, a music major from Kannapolis, NC, sang "Stars" from Les Miserables and Laurie Trivette, a music education major from Yadkinville, NC, sang "Laurie’s Song" from The Tender Land.