St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. awarded bachelor degrees to 126 seniors May 14, including two in the college’s latest major, forensic science. Two honorary degrees were presented and four award recipients were announced.
“As you leave here today, please remember that without action on your part, the noblest thoughts and the loftiest dreams are merely wistful fantasies,” President John Deegan Jr. said to the graduates. “So live your life with determination and passion, find your moral center, and let it be your guide to making your dreams a reality.”
The Rev. David H.W. Burr, guest speaker at the college’s Baccalaureate service, received an honorary degree along with Ronald H. Bayes, Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing Emeritus at St. Andrews. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, son of David Burr, also attended the festivities. Burr received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree while Bayes received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
Since 1967, St. Andrews annually recognizes two outstanding graduating seniors and one member of the community with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards. The award recognizes those who place service to others above self in daily living.
Mica L. Nguyen, a philosophy and politics major from Charlotte, and Aaron Gatten, a religious studies major from Sanford, were announced as the two senior recipients.
Carl D. Bennett, Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus at St. Andrews received the community award. In addition to a long and fruitful career as an educator, Bennett has been involved with many community activities such as Literacy Council, The American Red Cross, United Way, and Crop Walk.
“In every way, Dr. Bennett exemplifies the fullness of spirit and nobility of character in those people who, in their daily life, habitually go outside the circle of self-interest and expend their energies in the service of others,” said Deegan.
Dr. Edna Ann Loftus was named this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Service Award sponsored by the Class of 1991.
Among the graduates were the first two ever from the college’s Forensic Science program, started two years ago. Ashley Smith of Monroe and LaTonya Brown of Bennettsville, S.C., will move on to careers with major law enforcement agencies.
Other degrees conferred included Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science.
The Rev. Burr led the baccalaureate service for the St. Andrews graduates on May 13. “Our task is not to stand in judgment. Judgment belongs to God and not to us,” he said. He pointed out that:
In judgment, God’s primary task is to cleanse and purify us.
In judgment, God always survives a remnant. Out of the ashes and brokenness, there always survives a remnant.
In judgment, in quietness and trust shall be your strength. Only by returning to God will you be saved.