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Lehigh Carbon Community College

Reinhardt President Dr. Kina S. Mallard addresses the Class of 2017 at Ken White Field at University Stadium.

While degrees for Reinhardt University’s largest graduating class were conferred under cloudy skies Friday, graduating seniors and their families’ spirits were shining.

“Thank you for weathering the weather,” said President Kina S. Mallard. “This just proves we are Methodist. We are being sprinkled.”

Due to regional heavy rains and unseasonably cool temperatures, University officials opted to produce an abridged version of the program, to which graduation candidates cheered.

Keynote speaker Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, followed suit with a simple, yet exuberantly delivered, “Congratulations.”

“My mama didn’t raise a fool. Congratulations, and I am proud to be a part of this with you and may God be with you,” Dr. Wheelan said.

Student reflection speaker Michael Dubuc, who earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology, delivered a message of how each individual is part of a greater world much like individual cells make up the human body and other organisms.

“To all the graduates walking today, you have already become a cell to enhance the greater whole. I challenge each of you to use your Reinhardt education to contribute to the vitality of the world,” Dubuc said. “We need to put our best foot forward with a positive and joyful attitude. It is the gift that we have been given which is ours to give back.”

Also during the ceremony, Dr. Mallard awarded an honorary doctorate to Garland Reynolds, the architectural eye behind most of the buildings in Reinhardt’s University in a Park.

“Thank you, friend. Reinhardt is proud of you and proud for you,” Dr. Mallard said.

Reinhardt University will distribute the names of all associate, baccalaureate and master degree graduates once confirmed through the Office of the Registrar. For more photos from the 2017 Commencement Ceremony, click here.