Bethel University confers degrees during Saturday's Commencement

Bethel University confers degrees during Saturday’s Commencement

MCKENZIE, TN – Despite the threat of wintry weather, hundreds of excited students, family, and friends made their way to Bethel’s Rosemary and Harry Crisp II Arena to cheer on the university’s newest group of graduates this weekend. In his welcoming remarks, Bethel University President Walter Butler noted that 1,108 Bethel University students graduated during the 2018 calendar year. A total of 374 students from the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Professional Studies, and Health Sciencesmatriculated during the December commencement.

​During the ceremony, Dr. Joe Sam was honored as Professor Emeritus.

Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission, served as commencement speaker. During her remarks, Pope -- the former federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and executive director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission –spoke frankly about some of her mistakes and failures and encouraged the audience to learn from her experiences and “do what you always dreamed.”

Her theme of “Do it, live it, give it” inspired listeners totake the road less traveled.

“Be who you want to be, because life is a journey, and you should cherish every moment,” Pope said. Most importantly, she stressed, “Give something that will outlast you.”

Local graduates included: Emily Myers, Huntingdon, Master of Business Administration [pictured]; Kelly Brinkman, Huntingdon, Bachelor of Science [pictured]; Timothy Ellis, Huntingdon, Bachelor of Science [pictured]; Daniel Delgado, McKenzie, Bachelor of Science [pictured]; Jolie Reid, McKenzie, Bachelor of Science [pictured]; Andrew Rush, Huntingdon, Bachelor of Science; Tamera Williams, Huntingdon, Bachelor of Science (Magna Cum Laude)[pictured]; Kevin Beck, McKenzie, Bachelor of Arts (Magna Cum Laude) [pictured]; Nida Ntita, McKenzie, Bachelor of Arts (Suma Cum Laude) [pictured]; Jennifer McCord, Atwood, Bachelor of Science, Jennifer Silver, Huntingdon, Bachelor of Science, Jason Paris, McKenzie, Associate of Applied Science; and Michael Sevarns, Huntingdon, Associate of Applied Science.  

Established in 1842, Bethel University is one of the oldest universities in the state of Tennessee.  It is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and it offers bachelor’s, master’s, and associate degrees through a variety of learning platforms. For more information about Bethel University, go to