ABILENE, Texas Rachel Holmes of Maypearl, Texas, has been awarded a bachelor's degree in studio art Magna Cum Laude from McMurry University. Rachel is one of 74 graduates receiving degrees during the Commencement in Radford Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Offering a diverse academic curriculum to more than 1,400 students, McMurry University is a small Christian liberal arts school in Abilene. Students choose from 41 majors; education and business are popular as are the school's pre-professional programs in medicine, dentistry, law, and physical therapy. The three-week May Term gives students an opportunity to explore a subject outside their major. Through the Servant Leadership Program, students learn about ethics and develop leadership qualities. McMurry's signature Texas Semester takes students through Texas history and culture with hands-on experiences like visits from leading authorities that take place both in the classroom and at historical sites across the state. Internships with businesses in Abilene present undergraduates with the opportunity to acquire additional knowledge of the workplace in nonprofit and corporate settings.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) have approved McMurry University to grant master's degrees. Beginning in the fall of 2012, students may enroll in a Master of Nursing program through the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing.

This past summer, the NCAA officially announced that McMurry University has been accepted into a NCAA Division II candidacy period, bringing back scholarship athletics to the institution for the first time since the 197677 school year.