White County News-May 13, 2010
By: Billy Chism
For the first time ever, more four-year degrees were conferred at Truett-McConnell College than two-year degrees. A total of 30 bachelordegrees were awarded atthe 62nd commencement services for the Clevelandinstitution affiliated withthe Baptist Convention of Georgia. A total of 21 associate degrees were awarded. The ceremony was held in the college gymnasium. The first bachelor’s degrees were conferred in 2005, and at the time there were only two. This year, four-year degrees were presented in ten different majors. There was one new major, Bachelor of Arts in business. Preston Wayne Fowler of Clarkesville was the first graduate with this degree. Jerry St. Pierre, who earned a four-year degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, was named class valedictorian. He received the H.M. Stewart Award of Excellence from Scott Roland, representing Community Bank & Trust. School President Dr. Emir Caner, who gave the commencement address for the second consecutive year, asked the graduates: “More than anything else, will it be said that you walked with God?” “It’s not about your profession or your possessions,” he said. “If you walk with God, you will be remembered here at Truett-McConnell College for far more than anything else you may do.” Caner told them that “the greatest event in life is to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. If you know that, the rest is simply following His will.” Rev. John Yarbrough, chairman of the Board of Trustees and pastor of Mt. Yonah Baptist Church near Cleveland, welcomed the 51 graduates and their families and friends. More than 600 people attended. “We salute the Class of 2010 on all your accomplishments,” he said. “We will watch with great expectations on the many journeys you’ll take as you move on from here.” Matthew Paul, a 1991 graduate serving as president of TMC’s alumni association, noted that Truett-McConnell’s alumni are “8,000 strong and growing.” He asked the graduates “to pray for your Alma Mater, your college president, your teachers and the students who will follow in your footsteps.” After the ceremony, Caner greeted students and parents outside the gym, and many had their photos taken with him. In between photos, Caner told the White County News that enrollment is up at TMC, averaging two semesters in a row with “more than 500 students.” He said the acceptance rate is up 58 percent, and that the college is expecting 600 students this fall. In addition, another four-year major has been approved, Bachelor of Arts in World Missions, he said. “We’re growing in enrollment and in the number of four-year majors we offer,” he said. At the 2010 graduation, bachelor of arts degrees were conferred in these areas: business, Christian studies, Christian studies with concentration in Biblical and theological studies, history, humanities, humanities with concentration in history, interdisciplinary studies, music, and music with concentration in contemporary worship. Bachelor of science degrees were conferred in education.