Patrick Henry College
Faculty pray for students at Commissioning ceremony
“To those of you who are graduating today,” began Meredith Schultz (Government), in her Student Remarks, “if I could give you one gift, it would be a lens to see unseen things; to see what God sees when we are working and living and loving here on earth.”
In a poignant and pointed commentary on both the Church and our times that visibly touched many audience members, Schultz, winner of the Beverly LaHaye Leadership Award, cautioned her fellow graduates to resist weighing their future works and accomplishments on worldly scales.
Meredith Schultz delivers Student Remarks
Citing C.S. Lewis’s novel, The Great Divorce, Schultz recounted his parable of a woman named Sarah Smith, who while greatly honored in heaven lived her life on earth in obscurity. “’Even though she never wrote a best-selling book or brokered a peace treaty, her life radiated through her community, and more importantly, into eternity,’” Schultz recounted.
“There are lots of people who want to be Mr. President,” she noted. “There are fewer who want to be Sarah Smith. There are fewer who love the unseen things, the heavenly things; who want to make their mark not on Wall Street or K Street, but on the eternal human soul.
Graduates lift up worship to God
In a closing reference to William Butler Yeats, Schultz called her classmates to “Exult! -- because we are not tied to an earthly economy. We can live without fear that our good deeds are passing by unnoticed. We have an ever present witness for our works.”
In an amusing Commencement Address, Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, observed of his own 1965 commencement, “I don’t remember the commencement address. You probably won’t remember that I’m even here.”
He defined graduation from college as that harsh transition from the largely carefree, unaccountable youth of “soft America” to the stiff competition and accountability of “hard America,” where no one is worried about your self-esteem.
Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, addresses the graduates
Included among his thematic action points to grads were exhortations to “Wear your faith on your sleeve,” so as to connect with fellow Christians and “to give yourself the chance to evangelize,” and to “Go into careers in the secular world.” He especially admonished graduates “not to confuse your career with your life. Your career will take care of itself. Your life is your faith, your friends, your relationships.”
In his Charge to Future Graduates, John Curry, co-winner of the Tim Lahaye Leadership Award, contrasted the value of a deep, abiding faith with those benefits attained solely through a college diploma.
John Curry gives the Charge to Future Graduates
In closing, Dr. Michael Farris in his Chancellor’s Charge, reminded graduates that their hard-earned diplomas were not “a means to an end. The end is to serve the Lord for Christ and for liberty. You did not attend Patrick Henry College simply to have a better education, but so that future generations will have a better America.”
Of the 76 PHC graduates who received diplomas, six majored in Classical Liberal Arts, 46 majored in Government, four majored in History, 14 majored in Journalism, and six majored in Literature.
Special awards were presented to the following students:
Alumni Award: Derek Archer
Classical Liberal Arts: Laura Ann Marshall
Journalism: David Nathaniel Martin
Government: Kelly-Christelle Patricia Orsini
Tim LaHaye Leadership: John Michael Curry; Justin Michael Moore Jenkins
Beverly LaHaye Leadership: Meredith Susan Schultz
Oratory: Caitlin Rebekah Ries
Trustee Academic Excellence: Jessica Etta Pak
Read John Curry's Charge to Future Graduates