Mars Hill University Graduation Set for May 11; Guy Sayles to Give Commencement Address

More than 170 students are expected to receive degrees during Mars Hill University’s spring commencement on Saturday, May 11, 2019. Among them will be seven graduate students and the second cohort of nurses to earn the university’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Commencement will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Moore Auditorium.

Guy SaylesThe commencement address will be given by religion professor Guy Sayles, who is retiring at the end of the academic year. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgia Southern University, his Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry from Emory University Candler School of Theology. Sayles is former pastor of First Baptist Church of Asheville, North Carolina, and has been on the Mars Hill University faculty since 2015. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member in Gardner-Webb University’s School of Divinity, a congregational and leadership consultant affiliated with the Center for Healthy Churches, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Baptist Center for Ethics.

Student Government Association President Gabriella Siegfried of Winter Park, Florida, will represent the traditional undergraduates with a commencement speech. Jessica Carter of Asheville, North Carolina, will represent graduates from the Adult and Graduate Studies program with a commencement speech. Mary Jo Fabon of Newton, North Carolina, will perform special music.

Members of the 50-year reunion class of 1969 will lead this year’s graduates into Moore Auditorium for the commencement ceremony.

Other events related to spring commencement include the inauguration of new members into the university’s chapter of Mu Kappa Alpha, the national honor society for adult students. That ceremony will be Friday, May 3, 2019, at 6 p.m. in Peterson Conference Center, located in Blackwell Hall.

Also happening in conjunction with commencement is the pinning and lamp lighting ceremony for graduating nurses. It will happen Friday, May 10, 2019, at 6 p.m. in Broyhill Chapel. Graduating nurses receive a pin which signifies their transition from the student role to the medical practice role. The tradition is said to have originated in the 1860s with Florence Nightingale, who presented medals of excellence to the graduating nurses of the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas Hospital in London, England.