News & Events

MHU Confers Honorary Doctorate, Eight Master's Degrees, and 150 Bachelor's Degrees

Mhu Graduation Spring 2015 JonesDr. Jim Jones delivers the commencement address

It is important to learn the difference between a career and a calling, according to Dr. Jim Jones, a retired physician and professor emeritus at the UNC and East Carolina University schools of medicine. Jones was not only the keynote speaker for Mars Hill University's graduation on Saturday morning, but he was also the recipient of a doctorate of humane letters bestowed by the university.

"Find something that you can fall in love with, and jump in with both feet," he told the graduates. "A career is what you get paid for and a calling is what you were created for. Your time here is limited so don't waste it trying to live someone else's life, and don't let the noises of other people’s opinions drown out your own inner voice."

Jones, the first Lumbee Indian to attend Mars Hill University, graduated from Mars Hill Junior College in 1953. He went on to graduate from Wake Forest University ('55) and Wake Forest Medical School ('59), the first Native American admitted to either.

As a student at Mars Hill, Jones planned to follow in the footsteps of his hero Albert Schweitzer, as a medical missionary. Instead, according to President Dan Lunsford, he became a "national crusader for family medicine and a passionate advocate for meeting the medical needs of poor, rural people in eastern North Carolina."

Mhu Graduation Spring 2015 AveryAvery Burdette of Greer, SC, receives her diploma from MHU President Dan Lunsford

In addition to Jones' honorary doctorate, the university bestowed eight master's degrees and 150 bachelor's degrees on Saturday. Masters graduates were members of the third cohort to graduate from the university's Master of Education program.

The most common majors among bachelor's degrees were business (business management and business administration) and education (elementary, middle grade, integrated, music and physical education.) The third most common major was social work.

Student addresses at the graduation were given by Robyn Stanek, a biology major from Winston-Salem, NC and Tiana Campuzano-Gomez, an integrated education major from Swannanoa, NC, in the Adult and Graduate Students program. Special music was provided by Michael Gomez a music education major from Stony Point, NC and Vinnie Agrusa, a music performance major from Franklin, NC. The invocation was given by Grace Diepenbrock, an art major from Wilmington, NC.

In addition to an honorary doctorate from MHU, Jones' notable recognitions include being named National Indian Physician of the Year and N.C. Family Physician of the Year. He is the Founding Chairman at the Department of Family Medicine ECU School of Medicine and Associate Dean of Rural Health ECU School of Medicine. He is Past President of both the N.C. and National Academy of Family Physicians, Past President AAFP Foundation, Past Member of American Board of Family Medicine, Professor of Family Medicine Emeritus UNC-CH School of Medicine, Honorary Doctorate UNC-Pembroke, Emeritus Member NCIOM and Former Director N.C. Health Planning Commission.

**You may view the recording of the spring 2015 commencement ceremony online via the MHU athletics department's video streaming service.**

Master of Education Graduates

Alicia Daniael Anderson, Brevard NC
Wesley Arnold, Hendersonville NC
Elizabeth Kilpatrick Aspray, Brevard NC
Elizabeth D. Hegberg, Hendersonville NC
Ashley Hudgins, Burnsville NC
Kathleen Hosack Martin, Horse Shoe NC
Margaret Melonie Watts, Candler NC

Bachelor's Degree Graduates, in alphabetical order by hometown.

Anjelika D. Kidd, Smiths Station AL
Jack Thomas Grinewich, Highlands Ranch CO
Reshard Antuanne Simmons, Bradenton FL
Janelle Lee May, Port Orange FL
Joseph C. Barron, Tallahassee FL
Lindsey Taylor Ingwersen, Alpharetta GA
Shaquille Gatlin, Athens GA
Dimitri Andre Holmes, Athens GA
Jasper Mason, Columbus GA
Terris Jakobi Scroggins, Decatur GA
Sharon Nohemi Sotelo, Gainesville GA
Brian Michael Pieklik, Kennesaw GA
William Lyle Allen, Kingston GA
Na'Imah Anderson, McDonough GA
Chad Michael Capobianco, Watkinsville GA
Thomas Steven Anderson, Terre Haute IN
Zachary Michael Davies, Mount Airy MD
Barry Edward Wilcox III, Olney MD
Tanner S. Leach, Smithsburg MD
Justin Daniel Gale, Byron Center MI
Robert D. Petersen, Clarkston MI
Patrick James Honeycutt, Alexander NC
Theresa A. Stringer, Arden NC
Claire Elizabeth Allen, Asheville NC
Zachary Jay Eden, Asheville NC
Keith La Monte Lipsey, Asheville NC
Cori LeAnn McAbee, Asheville NC
Maggie Sue Mills, Asheville NC
Donald Patterson III, Asheville NC
Caroline Elizabeth Proctor, Asheville NC
Matthew David Ray, Asheville NC
Maxwell Steele Waldner, Asheville NC
Ashley Nicole Blackford, Bakersville NC
Lemona Banks Ledford, Barnardsville NC
Heather Daniels, Beaufort NC
Deanna Fox Buchanan, Black Mountain NC
Mary Alexandra Vines, Blowing Rock NC
Justin Hunter McDaniel, Bostic NC
Amber McClure, Brevard NC
Olivia Jennifer Miller, Brevard NC
Jessica M. Viscusi, Bryson City NC
Victoria Wesick Radcliff, Burgaw NC
Sharon K. Blankenship, Burnsville NC
Barbara Ellen Hicks Caterson, Burnsville NC
Samantha Elaine Murphy, Burnsville NC
Lesia Marie Phillips, Burnsville NC
Dalton Craig Woody, Burnsville NC
Emily Anne Malloy, Candler NC
Sara Jayne Moore, Candler NC
Katie Renee Robinson, Candler NC
Chelsea Marissa St. John, Candler NC
Katelyn Chandler Wright, Candler NC
Theodore C. Guyer, Canton NC
Jacquelyn Nicole Miner, Casar NC
Katlin Elizabeth Bradley, Cherokee NC
Tammie Reneé Welch, Cherokee NC
Molly Katherine Gooden, Clemmons NC
Toccara Brandy Jefferies, Cleveland Springs NC
Jeneé Gilliland Davis, Clyde NC
Kane Aaron Teague, Clyde NC
Shawn Michael Weber, Concord NC
DeVonte Rashad Mack Williams, Concord NC
Zachary Austin Bumgarner, Cramerton NC
Corey Brian Davis, Danville NC
Jennifer Louise Sell, Denver NC
Megan Renee Myers, Elkin NC
Samuel Alexander Cobb, Enka NC
Savanna Lea Clark, Flat Rock NC
Christen Nicole Nicholson, Flat Rock NC
Brittany Blackwell McCall, Fletcher NC
Hannah Leigh Wilson, Fletcher NC
Vincent Andrew Agrusa, Franklin NC
Dylan Scott Burleson, Gastonia NC
Kayla Renee Gibbs, Hendersonville NC
Regan Ashton Macomson, Hendersonville NC
Donna K. Semmel, Hendersonville NC
Maryana Newton, Hot Springs NC
Lori L. Jenkins, Lenoir NC
Zachary Paul Honeycutt, Locust NC
Jessica Paige Crisp, Marble NC
Johnnie Lee Aranda, Mars Hill NC
John Richard Covington III, Mars Hill NC
Cynthia Brooke Griffin, Mars Hill NC
Savannah Harwood Johnson, Mars Hill NC
Lois Kathleen Johnson, Mars Hill NC
Audrey H. Marshall, Mars Hill NC
Autumn Watkins Rice, Mars Hill NC
Jonathan Hyers, Marshall NC
Melissa Shea Reed, Marshall NC
Caysie Monrose Rumfelt, Marshall NC
Austin Kyle Snuffer, Marshall NC
Shelbie Auburn English, Mills River NC
Frances Janice Owens, Mills River NC
Virginia Lauren Reneau, Mills River NC
Annie Elizabeth Tesh, Mocksville NC
Brooke D. Speight, Mount Airy NC
Steven Edward Green, North Hills NC
Lucas Tiller Morrow, Raleigh NC
Taylor Dale Hussey, Randleman NC
Kristen Faith Trammell, Robbinsville NC
Jessica Renee Britt, Rockwell NC
Michael Blake Moffitt, Rutherfordton NC
Kelley Lynn Tomblin, Rutherfordton NC
Samantha Carol Zerger, Salisbury NC
Roberto Almanza Rodriguez, Selma NC
Amanda Gayle Polly, Spruce Pine NC
Michael Denton Gomez, Stony Point NC
Tiana Ledford Campuzano-Gómez, Swannanoa NC
Aleshia Kay Peek, Swannanoa NC
Christopher Trent Wilson, Taylorsville NC
Trisha Leigh Halsey, Thomasville NC
Erin Marie Condon, Walnut Cove NC
Jacob Robert Rand, Waxhaw NC
Lynsey Diane Coates, Weaverville NC
Courtney Michelle Jones, Weaverville NC
Andrew Paul Little, Weaverville NC
Rayna Jerron Davis, Whittier NC
Grace Ann Diepenbrock, Wilmington NC
Allison Nicole Ward, Wilmington NC
Jeffrey Hunt Chappell, Winston Salem NC
Robyn Shelby Stanek, Winston-Salem NC
Catherine Olivia Watkins-Banks, teanea NJ
Rachel Elizabeth Weber, Las Vegas NV
Patrick Neil McMahon, Amherst NY
Thomas Ty Scala, Coram NY
Trenton Jay Miller, Highland Mills NY
Kevin Michael Trudell, Pulaski NY
Katie Lynn Stevens, Pickering OH
Daniel John Spurgin, Hillsboro OR
Emma Marie Duffy, Portland OR
Rachel Teresa Louviaux, Alleghenyville PA
Gregory T. Breen, Tunkhannock PA
Sherridan McKay Bigg, Aiken SC
McKay Winter Sharpe, Columbia SC
Grace Lancaster, Easley SC
Alexis Zeriell Montgomery, Florence SC
Bradley Alan Moffitt, Greenville SC
Andrew Jason Arrowood, Jr., Greer SC
Avery Danielle Burdette, Greer SC
Jan Reynecke, Hilton Head Island SC
Isaac Ishmael Phyall, Mauldin SC
Rebecca Bauman Griffith, Myrtle Beach SC
Alexandra Brooke Walters, Spartanburg SC
Benjamin Edward Phillips, Talbott TN
Andrew George Runion, Hopewell VA
AnnMarie Elizabeth Knight, Suffolk VA
Amber Marie Brown, Woodruff WI
Alexander Luke Mullen, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Euquerio Guerrero Garcia de León, Mexico City Mexico
Tomas Allison, Warwickshire UK