MILLIGAN COLLEGE –– Milligan College kicked off the first of two graduation ceremonies Friday by acknowledging students in the graduate and professional studies programs.
The graduates filtered into the first three sections of seating in the center of the chapel, and listened to the invocation by David Buchanan, a hymn sung by the congregation and a scripture reading by Kevin Kieslich.
Shawna Brotherton, a master of education degree recipient, said she was excited to graduate.
“I’m very excited. I feel like I’ve worked really hard to get to this place,” Brotherton said.
After serving in the United States Air Force for two years, she said she got married, raised a family and switched careers from psychology to education.
Brotherton, originally from Arizona, received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Arizona State University.
“I have decided to change careers. My original career was in psychology and so I changed careers and decided to go into education,” she said. “I love teenagers and so I’m looking forward to teaching high school.”
Brotherton said she hopes to secure a job in the area teaching history, government and psychology.
While at Milligan she said she became really close with her classmates and professors.
“The professors at Milligan are amazing,” she said. “They’re more than like professors. They’re your cheerleaders.”
Receiving her master of business administration degree, Katie Crowder hopes to use what she learned in her 14-month online program at Milligan at her job of almost three years with Mountain States Health Alliance.
“It’s been great. I’m happy that I had a couple of years in between my undergrad and masters, because now I know how I can apply what I’ve learned,” Crowder said. “It’s definitely helped me as far as trying to step into a leadership role at my current job with Mountain States, so I’m really excited to take what I’ve learned and use it in the future.”
She said her job with MSHA is focused around continuous improvement, which in turn helps continue improving processes in the health care industries.
The speaker for the commencement ceremony was Robert L. White, the chief public relations officer for the Johnson City Power Board and an M.B.A. alumnus from Milligan.
Merging pop culture to professional careers, White referenced the newly released movie “The Avengers” when speaking to graduates about how to become action heroes in their professional and personal lives.
“You don’t know what God is preparing for you to do. What I task you to do, is to be open to His will in your life,” he said. “Be willing to be the ultimate action hero, just like our example, Jesus Christ, because one day someone’s going to walk up to you and say they’ve been watching you. Be sure that you’re giving them something to be attracted to.”
White told graduates to be sure to enjoy the day and the moments because the journey makes it all worthwhile.
“Right now, tonight, take a deep breath and enjoy this moment with your friends and your family,” White said.
The ceremony included opening remarks from William B. Greer, the president of Milligan; musical arrangements performed by David C. Runner and Milligan’s Concert Choir; the recognition of Fide Et Amore citations; and the presentation of the graduating class by R. Garland Young, the interim vice president for academic affairs and dean. The closing prayer was said by Josh Roberts.
Milligan will award its tradiational undergraduate degrees in a ceremony today at 2 p.m. in Seeger Chapel. For more information, visit www.milligan.edu/commencement.