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McPherson College Celebrates 130th Commencement Ceremony

With wise words delivered from a long-time faculty member, McPherson College conferred bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees on 125 seniors in its 130th Commencement Ceremony, Sunday, May 21, 2018.

Dr. Rick Tyler, professor and chair of the performing arts department, who retires this year after 41 years at McPherson College, delivered the commencement address. Knowing a little something about commencements, after attending the very first one held in Brown Auditorium at the age 8, Dr. Tyler said despite their age difference, he and the members of the graduating class of 2018 were both starting out on new paths in their lives.

He drew his words of advice to the students from a quote by Maya Angelou that says, “If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present…gratefully.”

Dr. Tyler spoke to the students about finding out what they are good at and getting better at it and not to forget there is life outside of work.

“Appreciate being present gratefully and be thankful to those who have helped you get this far,” he said. “As you experience the rest of today do so with the same anticipation as that eight-year-old boy in back of this auditorium who so much just wanted to be on this stage, because he got so much more than he dreamed of. I have the same hope for you today that you get so much more than you ever dreamed possible.”

Whitney Murray, senior class representative, also spoke to the graduating class. She shared her experience studying abroad in Spain while attending McPherson College and encouraged students to “embrace change” and find opportunities to learn more about themselves.

A bachelor of science degree was also given posthumously to Braden Lee Bush, who would have graduated on Sunday. Bush was a member of the football team and passed away on June 16, 2017. A moment of silence was recognized in his honor.

The commencement ceremony concluded with Dr. Michael Schneider, president of McPherson College, reminding the students of words he shared with them as freshmen – show up, and ask for help. He added one more piece of advice before sending them out.

“Use your education to take risks. There is a world full of people who will tell you no,” he said. “Put yourself out there and remember that McPherson College told you yes.”

Names of the graduating class of 2018, the commencement video, and photos of the day can be found at: