ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – On Saturday, December 8, North Carolina Wesleyan College held its winter commencement at the new Rocky Mount Event Center. A large crowd of family and friends gathered to honor the approximately 200 graduates.
This is the first time in the school’s history that commencement was not held on campus. “This is our 76th graduation with the first 75 being held on our campus but this one today is in this beautiful new event center,” stated Wesleyan President Dr. Dewey Clark. The decision to hold the ceremony at the event center was two-fold according to Clark. “With our enrollment growth over the last few years, we have outgrown the Dunn Center. Secondly, we want to solidify our relationship with the City of Rocky Mount. This is becoming a true college town.”
Congratulating the graduates on their accomplishments, Wesleyan President Dr. Dewey Clark noted, “It is through intelligence, discipline and hard work that you have earned your degrees at North Carolina Wesleyan College. As we celebrate learning and academic achievement, let us not forget that few worthwhile things are achieved without the help and support of others.”
In his baccalaureate address, Reverend Dr. Barry Drum, College Chaplain, spoke about the importance of respect. “As Aretha Franklin’s powerful voice rings through the decades, find out what R.E.S.P.E.C.T. means and live it out,” challenged Drum. Quoting the late great scientist George Washington Carver, who lived his life by a simple set of rules centered on the concept of respect, Drum encouraged the graduates to “take your share of the world and let others take theirs.”
The commencement address was given by David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, a national organization that seeks to exert a positive influence in government, education and the family. A seasoned author and speaker, Barton serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators on historical and constitutional issues.
In his speech, Barton told the graduates they are facing a world that is rapidly changing through technology. In order to be successful, he encouraged them to “be committed to growing and learning new things, be a thinker and ask questions to seek the truth, be an individual and know what you stand for and be good stewards of God’s stuff in your profession.”
Wesleyan will hold its spring commencement on Saturday, May 4, on the front lawn of campus.