ATLANTA, GA – (May 16, 2014)
On Saturday, May 10, 75 students participated in the university’s spring graduation ceremony. The university awarded degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy, Christian Psychological Studies and Professional Counseling. Of special note, this year also marked the first class to graduate from Richmont’s School of Ministry.
“Graduation is always such a special time to celebrate each of Richmont’s graduates and their years of diligent work,” said Bob Rodgers, Richmont’s President. “It was also a wonderful time of acknowledging the Lord’s faithfulness and hand of provision at work in Richmont and in the lives of each student.”
In addition to honoring this year’s graduates, Richmont named Kenyon Knapp as 2014’s Distinguished Alumnus. A 2005 Richmont graduate, Knapp serves as the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and is a tenured Associate Professor of Counseling at Mercer University in Atlanta, where he teaches master’s and doctoral level courses. Kenyon founded and is the chairman of the Mercer Atlanta Research Conference; represents Counselor Education research with selective membership on the Institutional Review Board; and is a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Evaluator and CACREP Site Team Chair. Apart from the academic world, Knapp loves to serve the Lord through international missions work and crisis counseling.
Similarly, Ronald Bunger, Richmont’s Chattanooga campus librarian, received this year’s Peterson Award for the commitment and service he has shown to the university that has consistently exceeded his job demands and institutional expectations. Bunger has faithfully served the university for 10 years and is well regarded by students, faculty and staff.
As the first graduates from Richmont’s School of Ministry assembled on stage to receive their diplomas, Dr. Leland Eliason, Dean of the School of Ministry said flashes of individual student responses to the Ministry degree program passed through his mind, several of which included:
- “I gained a vision to reach out to those who have given up on church through a course that at first I thought would be unhelpful!”
- “For the first time in my life I have an understanding of the Trinity – it has renewed my understanding of God.”
- “I’ve released and been freed from a load of hurt and resentment. I am ready and anxious to give my life in service to the Lord.”
Reflecting on graduation and on the past two years, Eliason said, “What a privilege it has been to be part of the launch of this program! These are graduates that I am very proud of and I believe they will be effective in transformational ministry for the rest of their lives!”
This year’s graduation also honored Dr. DeAnne Terrell for 15 years of service as the Dean of Students at Richmont. At the end of May, she will be transitioning to extend her talents and leadership capabilities as a professor at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
“DeAnne has expertly and steadfastly served at Richmont,” said Rodgers. “She is a thought leader in the field and is exceptionally beloved by students and staff both past and present. She is irreplaceable member on this team and has been a true gift to us.”
While students, faculty and staff know Richmont will not be the same without Dr. Terrell everyone is excited to rejoice with her in this next season. Thankfully, she will remain an adjunct professor at Richmont and will return to Atlanta in order to occasionally teach counseling courses.
*Photo Credit: Josh Booth Photography