By Katie Gager, Student Reporter
At Commencement Saturday, 560 undergraduate and 115 graduate students will walk the stage of Moody Coliseum as one of the larger graduating classes for the undergraduate program and the largest for the graduate program, said Bart
Herridge, registrar and director of academic records.
Graduation will be divided into two ceremonies. The first will begin at 11 a.m. for graduates of the College of Biblical Studies, College of Business Administration, College of Education and Human Services and the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing.
The second ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. for the graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences. This year’s commencement speaker will be Dr. John Willis, professor of Old Testament.
Doug Walton, senior biology major from San Antonio, said he is ready for graduation, but will miss the people he has grown to know at ACU.
“ACU is a place I’m very comfortable at,” Walton said. “But I am excited to start a new chapter of my life.”
Walton will be attending Texas A&M College of Medicine at College Station in the fall. He plans on celebrating graduation with his friends and family and looks forward to a time of relaxation this summer.
Another graduating senior, Whitney Leininger, missions major from San Antonio, said she is ready but nervous for life after ACU.
“I’m excited and nervous because it’s a big step in your life and there are so many uncertainties after graduation,” she said.
Leininger will be working with World Wide Witness and will spend her next two and a half months in Costa Rica working with a local church and attending a Spanish language school.
“One of my biggest regrets of my time at ACU was not going to study abroad,” Leininger said. “If I had that chance again, I’d take it. Going to Costa Rica is a chance of a lifetime, and for me it will be an opportunity to study abroad.”
She said she looks forward to celebrating graduation with not only her family, but all of her friends who are also graduating this semester.
“I will miss the people at ACU and my friends,” Leininger said. “It has been a time full of challenges, academically, spiritually and just everyday challenges, but it has also been fun and a huge time of growth. I can’t believe it’s already over.”
Texas State Technical College planned to conduct its commencement in Moody Coliseum on Friday, but the ceremony has been cancelled because of the H1N1 influenza virus.
ACU will go forward with its originally scheduled ceremonyÂ but urges attendees to take precautions provided by the Center for Disease Control, according to an e-mail sent to the ACU community by Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, vice president for Student Life.