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Lisa Vincent
BPC grad Lisa Vincent, left (facing the camera), is all smiles during Commencement May 9.


BPC graduates 180 during Commencement 2009

By Kelley M. Arnold

Interim Director of Marketing

MOUNT VERNON—Brewton-Parker College held Commencement Ceremonies for the Class of 2009 Saturday, May 9 on the Mount Vernon campus inside the Gillis Gym in the Snooks Student Activities Center. This was the first year in recent history the college has held a combined ceremony for Mount Vernon and the External Programs sites.


Frank Upchurch, honorary doctorate
Frank Upchurch, center, is presented the Honorary Doctorate from Brewton-Parker College by Dr. Ronald T. Melton, left, provost, and Dr. David R. Smith, president.

BPC conferred 187 bachelor and associate degrees to 180 graduates during the ceremony. One honorary doctorate was also bestowed.


Frank H. Upchurch, president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Baptist Healthcare Ministry Foundation, received an honorary doctorate from the college. Dr. David R. Smith, BPC president, presented the degree as both he and Dr. Ron Melton draped him in his doctorate sash. Upchurch encouraged the graduates to live a full life.


“Don’t just make a living, but make a life,” urged Upchurch. “I am proud to be counted among you, the graduates of the Class of 2009.”         


Upchurch is the past president and chief executive office of the Georgia Baptist Health Care System, Inc., President of the Georgia Baptist Health Care Foundation and Vice President for Advancement at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina.


Dr. Carolyn Bishop
Dr. Carolyn Bishop addresses the BPC Class of 2009.

Commencement speaker Dr. Carolyn Bishop, president of the Consortium for Global Education, asked the graduates to be “Global Christian Graduates” in her commencement address.


There were also two special presentations of degrees. Rev. Donald Gatling, pastor of Pine Grove Missionary Baptist Church, recognized his daughter Kanyatta Karmethra Gatling. Gatling is an August graduate in the Bachelor of Business Administration program. Rev. Gatling gave the ceremony’s invocation.


Rev. Dave Swieringa, pastor of Valley Hill Baptist Church, presented his son, David Swieringa III, with his bachelor of ministry degree. Rev. Swieringa gave the ceremony’s benediction.


Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four year Christian college in south Georgia.

More Photos

BPC graduate
A BPC graduate receives her degree from Dr. David R. Smith, BPC president, May 9 in the Gillis Gym inside the Snooks Student Activities Center.
2009 Commencement
The 2009 BPC Commencement Ceremony held inside Snooks Student Activities Center’s Gillis Gymnasium May 9, 2009.
Class of 2009

The BPC Class of 2009 walks into the Gillis Gym for the last time as BPC students.

Tanisha Murray, Chauntilia Adaway, Nicole Alston
2009 Graduates wait for the line-up of the processional Saturday morning. Shown from left to right are Tanisha N. Murray, Chauntilia K. Adaway and Nicole S. Alston. (Photos by Kelley M. Arnold)
Martina Fenn, Adrian Bushart, Kristi Jenkins
BPC students Martina Fenn, Adrian Bushart and Kristi Jenkins, made a statement with decorated graduation caps.
Dr. Winnifred Whittaker, Bernard Irvin, Ashley Byrd, Bernd Torres-Toro II
Dr. Winnifred Whittaker, left, congratulates recent graduates Bernard Irvin, Ashley Byrd and Bernd Torres-Toro II.
Bernard Irvin, Rodney Jackson
Bernard Irvin and Rodney Jackson pause for a photo immediately after receiving their degrees May 9. Both Irvin and Jackson are August graduates in the bachelor of arts degree.
Elizabeth Nichols, Jamie Sexton, Carey Wilson
Class of 2009 BPC music graduates: Elizabeth Nichols, Jamie Sexton and Carey Wilson.





Brewton-Parker College News & Information
Brewton-Parker College | Located on U.S. 280 at 201 David-Eliza Fountain Circle, P. O. Box 197, Mount Vernon, GA 30445
with a site in Newnan
912-583-2241, 1-800-342-1087
Get directions to the main campus.
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The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college, is to develop the whole student through the application of Biblically-centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values.
Brewton-Parker College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Brewton-Parker College.
Updated on: April 15, 2010 8:26 PM