Thursday, December 22, 2011

Graduates of Global Influence

I just returned from Houston where more than 50 graduates received their diplomas Saturday in a ceremony held at Sagemont Church on the southern edge of Houston.

Our Provost, Dr. Philip Coyle, gave a thoughtful reminder of God's love in his address as our commencement speaker. Carol Green and the GAPS team did their usual outstanding work to stage the celebration. The joy of achievement for these graduates and their families was evident in the smiles and hugs. At these events, like the one in Houston and the one the week prior in Longview, I enjoy getting to meet and hear from some of our graduates.  

One especially reminded me that LeTourneau University is a global university. Kristi Sparkman is a missionary in the Middle East where she has served the Bedouin people for the past three years. She completed her LETU course work online from across the globe, where sometimes the Internet was a little spotty, where power outages were common and there were threats of war that required her to leave her village. But despite the many difficulties, she persevered and was able to get her assignments in on time amid the chaos.

She said God had placed the need for more education on her heart. She said she was able to use the information she was learning from her classes at LETU to help the Bedouin people. Now she gives God the credit for her Bachelor of Business Management degree with a leadership minor. Her return from overseas for her graduation ceremony in Longview impressed me again of the importance of our graduates serving in every workplace in every nation. You can see a short video interview with her here.  

Our strategic goal is to be a university of global influence and Kristi reminds us we are becoming just that.