Dr. Jonathan E. Martin encourages those attending our 164th Commencement toward a life of values and compassion.
Faculty processional includes Rev. Mike Evans, trustee.
Shelby Bergeron receives a gift from keynoter Jonathan E. Martin.
Lievin Manesha from Burundi enters happily.
All photos by Convergence Media major Grace Miller
Jonathan E. Martin keynotes 164th Commencement
by Norm Miller
Louisiana College highlighted its 164thcommencement with remarks from Jonathan E. Martin, chairman of RoyOMartin.
Held May 4 at Rapides Parish Coliseum, the event celebrated 250 graduates from the United States and abroad who earned various undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Louisiana College President Rick Brewer reminded the students that many were freshmen when he arrived in 2015. “We’ve been on a journey together and we’ve seen a lot of changes, haven’t we? We’ve seen a lot of good things. We’ve prepared graduates and we’ve transformed lives. That’s the focus of our vision at Louisiana College.”
Brewer said students had learned skills in analytical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem solving: “That’s the heart and soul of what we do at LC.”
Such students who also have the mind of Christ are those who will readily attain leadership roles. “You are markedly the leadership of the 21st century, and I’m pleased today we can celebrate with you what you’ve accomplished.”
Keynoter Jonathan Martin gave an inspiring thumbnail sketch of Roy O. Martin, Sr., who, through dedication to God and hard work, began the family’s first business in Alexandria in 1923.
A member of Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria, Martin cited the acronym R.I.C.H.E.S. — Respect, Integrity, Commitment, Honesty, Excellence, and Stewardship — as one that guides the RoyOMartin company and should guide the graduates.
“While this degree gives you an advantage in the job market, it is not a predictor of your success,” Martin said. “It is important to work for a company with a strong sense of values and culture. Values and culture determine a business, not profit.”
Brewer presented Martin with an honorary Doctorate of Business degree. Receiving honorary Doctorates of Theology were Randy Harper, LC trustee and pastor in Bossier City; and David Hankins, ex-officio trustee and executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.
Receiving distinguished service awards were Byron McGee — who retired after 35 years at LC in various roles — and retired music professor Ben Yang.
Continuing a tradition begun by Brewer in 2015, six graduates addressed the gathering.
Convergence Media major Jamarcus Fitzpatrick encouraged others to pursue their dreams.
“In the same way that Martin Luther King Jr once said that he had a dream, I too have a dream. We all have dreams. My dream is to see everyone fulfill their dreams.”
Business/Accounting major Shelby Bergeron said she grew closer to Christ at Louisiana College through the influence of students and professors.
“Spiritually let me say that I can attest to God moving mountains,” she said. “There are so many people that I have seen surrender their lives to Christ because of this institution.”
Citing the impact of Louisiana College’s weekly chapel services, Bergeron added, “The biggest impact I have seen are the relationships that people create amongst one another to truly show the love of Christ.”
Several athletes involved in conference playoffs did not attend the Saturday commencement. So Brewer held a special commencement for them on May 1, where he encouraged the 13 grads to prioritize God as they enter the workforce. He advised that they “live in stature” while pursuing wisdom. “And learn to grown in favor with God and man.”