September 1, 2017
Mars Hill University conferred 155 bachelor’s degrees and three master’s degrees during its spring commencement ceremony on May 13, 2017. Social work was the most popular major among the graduates, with 27 students receiving their bachelor of social work degrees. Twenty-two students received degrees in business administration, and 17 in biology. Eight students graduated with dual degrees, having completed requirements for two majors. Five students who received bachelor of science in nursing degrees were the second group to earn degrees through the university’s Judge-McRae School of Nursing. The three master’s graduates made up the fifth cohort to earn graduate degrees since Mars Hill added its master of education program.
Walter Ziffer, a teacher, writer, scholar, and retired Mars Hill religion professor, gave the keynote address. Drawing from his life story, part of which includes surviving the Holocaust, in which several family members were killed, Ziffer urged the graduates to view their life choices through a lens of ethics, remembering that those choices have consequences.
Student speakers were Savannah Maynor of Asheville, North Carolina, a summa cum laude graduate who earned her degree in integrated education; and Katrina Dodson of Marshall, North Carolina, a magna cum laude graduate of the R.N. to B.S.N. (registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing) program. Music performance major Michael Lyons of Arden, North Carolina, performed “The Cardinal of Venice” on the trumpet. Lily Chapman a summa cum laude elementary education major from Lake Toxaway, North Carolina, delivered the invocation.