Mars Hill University
Mars Hill University will confer bachelor’s degrees on an expected eighty-two graduates at winter graduation ceremonies on Friday, December 20, at 5 pm, in Moore Auditorium. The most common majors are education (elementary, middle, integrated, special), business (administration, management) and history.
This is the first graduation ceremony which has taken place since Mars Hill became a university in August 2013.
In addition to the conferring of undergraduate degrees, the university will present honorary doctorates to retired faculty members Bob and Rachel Chapman of Mars Hill. Mars Hill University gives honorary degrees to recognize persons widely respected for leadership and achievement. Prime consideration for the honor is given to persons related to the college and the areas of its influence.
The Chapmans retired in 1991 with a combined total of 89 years service to Mars Hill College. Rachel Chapman was a business professor for her entire 45-year career. Bob Chapman served as the assistant registrar from 1947 until 1957, and as the college registrar from 1957 until 1991. During those years, he was also a professor of business. In all, he gave 44 years of service to the college.
The Chapmans continue to be active in the life of the university, and helped found the Retired Faculty/Staff Association. Bob served as the organization’s founding president. The Chapmans also maintain the Chapman Rose Garden, near Pittman Dining Hall on the campus.
Keynote speaker for the graduation will be Dr. David Smith, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lenoir, NC, and honorary trustee of Mars Hill University.
Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Mars Hill College, and a doctorate of divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a former trustee at Mars Hill College. Earlier, he served as campus minister at Mars Hill, a position he also held at Wingate College. He has served tours as a Christian missionary in Costa Rica and Ecuador. His pastorate at First Baptist Church of Lenoir has lasted for the past 25 years. He lives in Lenoir with his wife, Janice.
Student speakers for the graduation will be J. Brady Adcock, a business administration and religion major from Pfafftown, NC, and Tabbatha Ayers Garland, a social work major in the Adult and Graduate Studies program from Burnsville, NC. The invocation will be given by Joo Kyung “Esther” Kim, a chemistry major from Thessaloniki, Greece.
Special music for the graduation will be provided by Sarah Emily Richardson, a musical theatre major from Apex, NC.