The Andersonville Theological Seminary Graduation, held May 25, 2012, was a great success! The service began with the inspirational music of the Harper Trio, a talented group that sounds more like a small choir than just three people. Next on the program was the processional which allowed the audience to view the 80 graduates as they entered the beautiful, impressive Albany Municipal Auditorium. As soon as they were seated, James Hayes offered the invocation followed by a sincere welcome to everyone in attendance. After a rousing song entitled, “The Day I Got Saved,” Dr. Jimmy Hayes, founder and President of the seminary, introduced his son, James Hayes as the speaker who would be giving a charge to the students using an analogy of a postage stamp and the work of a Christian. The sermon was motivating and well received by the audience and graduates. One student from Jamaica put it into perspective when she said, “The message was indeed from God…”
After the message, the Harper’s brought another message in song, “I Am the Water,” just before the presentation of the diplomas. Each graduate’s name was called along with the title of the degree as he or she came forward to shake the hand of President Hayes. A photographer, Sheila Waters, took a picture of the handshake for each of the graduates. After the confirmation of the degrees, the trio sang the final message in song, “Sheltered in the Arms of God.” James Hayes presented scholarships to five deserving students. These scholarships were made possible by students and alumni that donate to the school. Dr. Jimmy Hayes made a few closing remarks and introduced some of the staff. Dr. Jimmy Hayes closed the service in prayer before dismissing the students to the final processional and to have their group pictures made on the steps of the auditorium.
Those who came to support the graduates were a great encouragement. This year we had a impressive crowd of around nine hundred people. For the first time ever, we ran out of programs and some people had to share. Next year, we will try to make sure that this does not happen. Overall, it was a grand day and the seminary wishes to thank the graduates for making it all possible!
Students Receiving Scholarships at Graduation
George Potter received the John and Louise Odom Scholarship
Latchim Punalall received the Jerry McGuire Scholarship
Lisa Mixson received the William McMahon, Jr. Scholarship
Caleb Mashushire received the Dr. Jimmy Hayes Presidential Scholarship
James Tyus received the ATS Faculty and Staff Scholarship
JULIE WEEKS RECOGNIZED BY GRADUATE
It is difficult to imagine all of the work that goes into planning a graduation ceremony. Starting in January, there is information that must go out to students, records that must be kept accurately, arrangements that must be made for the building and other supplies, co-ordination with the singers, ordering of the degrees, and many other duties that go along with the job. At Andersonville Seminary, these duties fall mainly on the shoulders of one amazing person, Julie Weeks. She weighs a little over 100 pounds, but she can do the work of several people. Many times this work is taken for granted; however, not always. On graduation day, one of our students from Texas, Marlene McFarlane Hurd, surprised Julie with a much deserved award. She presented Julie with a plaque reading as follows:
WITH GRATEFUL APPRECIATION
MRS. JULIE WEEKS
FOR HER CARE AND DEDICATION TO OUR GROWTH IN THE MINISTRY THROUGH
CONGRATULATIONS FROM EVANGELIST MARLENE HURD AND FAMILY
“BUT WE HAVE THIS TREASURE IN THE EARTHEN VESSELLS, THAT THE EXCELLENCY OF THE POWER MAY BE OF GOD, AND NOT OF US
II Corinthians 4:7 KJV
COMMENTS FROM STUDENTS ABOUT GRADUATION
It is always nice to receive comments from students, especially after graduation. We want to share a few with the students that were not able to attend the service. We regret that space will not allow us to print them all or to print them in full.
From Latchmin Punalall of Guyana, South America…
Latchmin had flight connection problems and arrived a few minutes before graduation. She wrote, “…upon arrival, Sis Kim said ‘You are just in time’ and immediately I remembered a song with these words, ‘He saved us just in time.’ I know without a shadow of a doubt I was there just in time. Praise the Lord! My most exciting moment was when James Hayes presented the Word of God. A simple stamp was assigned a task and was faithful to the end and delivered the message that was within. He challenged us to deliver God’s Word as graduates and fulfill our purpose with the knowledge we received.”
From Donna Renfro of Tennessee…
“…Kevin has Multiple Sclerosis… and I have multiple medical problems too which rendered me disable seven years ago. It was my dream to obtain a doctorate degree…and your school gave us the ability to fulfill a lifelong dream for me. The actual graduation ceremony was beautiful with the flowers, music, and people. However, my entire family agree (15 of us who attended), the message was the best part. I am 42 years old and have been in church my entire life – without a doubt, the message taught at the graduation about a stamp was the best one I have ever heard.”
From Shirley A. Browne of Georgia
“Graduation was awesome!!! Receiving my Doctorate of Theology was an experience of a lifetime…meeting the staff and my classmates was beyond words…I left graduation with new extended family members….Pastor Hayes delivered an excellent sermon, never to be forgotten. God is in control and we must continue trusting Him.”
From Ron Davidson of Tennessee…
“My family and I had a great time there. We were blessed by the graduation service. It was a joy to meet students from America and other countries and fellowship with them in the Lord.”
From Caleb Mashushire of Indiana
“I truly was blessed by being at the graduation with my family. The message from James Hayes was great. I had a great time meeting fellow students and words cannot describe my feelings. Thank you for the scholarship as it came as a great surprise! God bless you for all your hard work. Thank you for making a tremendous impact on my life!
From Donnell Hegler of Arkansas
“The graduation was inspirational. The message was on time and the music was heart felt. Meeting classmates from across the country was the highlight of the day. I’m glad I made the decision to participate in graduation. It was a life experience I was able to share with my wife, children, friends and church family. Thank God for the staff of Andersonville for making this a joyful memory and the realization of a dream fulfilled.
From George Potter of North Carolina
“It was nice meeting Dr. Hayes and all the staff of ATS. The Albany Municipal Auditorium was a beautiful setting for the graduation…It was an occasion that I will never forget…I am so glad I went.”
From Louise Odom of Florida
“A big THANK YOU for such a wonderful graduation ceremony. Everything was done “first class”!! Preacher Jim Hayes gave such an inspirational sermon that truly glorified our Lord. The music was most uplifting to complete the graduation experience…I am very grateful and honored to be a graduate of Andersonville Theological Seminary.”
STUDENTS ENJOY BUYING MEMORABILIA AT GRADUATION
Every year at graduation, students enjoy buying memorabilia. This year there were many items on display such as T shirts, jackets, frames, bumper stickers, hot and cold thermos, computer bags, and Bible covers. There were also two new items that seemed to be a real hit with the graduates: window decals (shown in frame for display purposes) and clear tumblers. Check out the pictures below and be sure to put in your order for these new items today!
If you do NOT put your name on your work, we regret that it will have to go in the trash!
Keep a copy of all work that you send in during a program until you have your degree in your hands!!! Clerical workers can make mistakes. We are not perfect, even though we would like to be. Therefore, we cannot over stress; DO NOT SEND ATS THE LAST COPY OF YOUR WORK.
ATS is not responsible for work lost in the mail.
When the grade department receives an exam by email which does not have the test form number, it will be emailed back to the student so the proper information may be included. Exams without test form numbers will not be printed or given to the graders.
THANK YOU for putting your first, middle, and last name on exams. This helps so much since many students have the same first and last name.
Grade reports are mailed out by regular US Mail every Thursday. Please allow 3 weeks for grading of your exams.