Campus Community Honors Christian Service
Submitted on May 11, 2018
Although Commencement is the main event of graduation weekend, the Baccalaureate service is a time for graduates and their families and friends to slow down, appreciate the moment, and let emotions come and go as they will. The event held Friday evening in John L. Hill Chapel took on a religious tone in keeping with Georgetown College’s Christian mission and vibrant Christian community.
Each year an integral part of the Baccalaureate service is the presentation of three Christian Service Awards by the Marshall Center for Christian Ministry. The awards recognize selected members of the campus community for their dedication to Christ and exemplary service in His name.
“Our hope is that the Christian Service Awards will affirm such exemplary Christ-like life and witness on our campus and will elevate the relevance of such a life and witness in the larger academic context,” said Rev. Ken Holden, Executive Director of the Marshall Center. “Our recipients are people whose lives reflect a servant’s heart, and whose Christian faith is lived out each day with courage and authenticity.”
The three annual recognitions are named for outstanding individuals who have been associated with the College through the years. They are the George Walker Redding Faculty Award, the Kenneth Claiborne Fendley Staff Award, and the Norman and Martha Yocum Lytle Graduating Senior Award.
Funding for the awards is provided by the families of these beloved Georgetonians. Recipients are presented with a certificate, a monetary gift, and, as Rev. Holden commented, “a heartfelt ‘thank you’ on behalf of the Marshall Center and the Georgetown College family.
The 2018 Redding Award was presented to Dr. Brad Hadaway, Professor of Philosophy. “This professor blesses our students in the classroom by modeling what it means to be a thoughtful and faithful Christian academic,” wrote one nominator. Others stated that he has served students for a long time in a wide variety of ways but especially the Oxford and other honors programs, that he is known as a faculty member whom students can visit any time they have concerns, that his ‘faith walk’ extends enthusiastically into and with a local church, and that his work is shaping an entire Christian leadership cohort for the future of the Kingdom of God.
Recipient of the Fendley Staff Award was Ms. Wanda McManus, a member of the College’s facilities staff, described by one student nominator as “the definition of a humble servant leader, constantly serving us above and beyond required duties. . . leaving us encouraging notes . . . offering to pray for us . . . and doing each task to the absolute best.” Others wrote of her “selflessly giving us extra time, wanting to get to know each and every one of us, constantly exhibiting love, joy, peace, patience.” Ms. McManus was described as one who loves the Lord and the students of Georgetown College without expectation of receiving anything for that devotion and service.
Two graduating seniors were honored as recipients of the Lytle Award. They are Ms. Landry Jung, an art major from Corbin, and Ms. Jessica Rounce of Bowling Green, an accounting and Spanish major, pictured here with Rev. Dr. Bryan Langlands, Campus Minister and Director of the Office of Faith and Service. There were many accolades for each honoree from their respective nominators.
Ms. Jung was described as a “light” to every person who encounters her, the kind of person you want to be around, whose positivity and excitement is infectious. Nominators wrote of Ms. Rounce as having a quiet and intense grace, always present to the people nearby, caring for them and listening to them, and often laughing with them with a gentle and infectious joy. Both students were cited for the exemplary living of their faith in God’s word.
The Baccalaureate address was given by the Reverend Dr. Debra Wallace-Padgett, resident Bishop of North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church. With reference to Acts 16: 25-34, her talk was entitled “Singing God’s Song in Tune and Rhythm.” She expressed her hope that graduates would find both the lyric and rhythm in their life, through good times and challenging times, but always living their faith in God as an example for others to see and experience.
Each graduating senior is presented with a copy of the Good News Bible. A gift from the Marshall Center, it is made possible through an endowment established by Maribeth P. Hambrick, Class of 1949, an honorary doctorate recipient and Alumni Achievement Award honoree, and Wanda P. Higbee, a 1957 honors graduate who excelled as a teacher of French in the Maryland public school system from which she retired.
This is the 21st year that graduates have received a copy of the Good News Bible now called the Good News Translation from the Marshall Center for Christian Ministry. The late Robert Bratcher, a 1941 graduate, was the New Testament translator for the Good News Bible and also chaired the Old Testament translation committee.
Archived video of the Baccalaureate Service may be viewed online: https://livestream.com/georgetowncoll/events/8109101