May 11, 2019
“I urge you to bet on love. Gamble on fullness of life, the reality of calling, and the adventure of purpose. Wager that it matters.”
That charge to the Mars Hill University class of 2019 was given by keynote speaker Guy Sayles during the university’s spring commencement on May 11. Sayles, an assistant professor religion and philosophy, is retiring from the university as this academic year ends.
The university conferred degrees on 167 graduates in Moore Auditorium on a rainy Saturday morning.
“Too many of us limit the scope of our lives and use only a fraction of our potential,” Sayles told the graduates. “Love is life’s purpose: being loved and loving—which necessarily includes being heard, seen, understood, and accepted while also hearing, seeing, understanding, and accepting others. Love welcomes and delights in us as we are and then works and serves to make us who we can become. To be loved and to love is why we are here.”
Three students received the Master of Education, and three, the Master of Management. Among the 161 undergraduates, 76 received the Bachelor of Science; 40, the Bachelor of Arts; 20, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing; 19, the Bachelor of Social Work; five, the Bachelor of Music; and one, the Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Student Government Association President Gabriella Siegfried of Winter Park, Florida, represented the traditional undergraduates with a commencement speech. Jessica Carter of Asheville, North Carolina, represented graduates from the Adult and Graduate Studies program with a commencement speech. Mary Jo Fabon of Newton, North Carolina, performed special music on the flute.
This was the first spring commencement for President Tony Floyd, who began his leadership of Mars Hill University last summer.
Members of the 50-year reunion class of 1969, which included President Emeritus Dan Lunsford, led this year’s graduates into the commencement ceremony.