WAXAHACHIE

Southwestern Assemblies of God University celebrated its largest graduating class in the past decade Friday, April 27.

A total of 239 graduates represented the class of 2018 during the commencement ceremony.

Almost one-third of graduates were recognized for their academic achievement with 17 students who graduated summa cum laude, 24 who graduated magna cum laude and 38 students who graduated cum laude.

Among the students who graduated with honors was class speaker, Vashti Sarah Pitterson.

Pitterson has shown leadership through her involvement as a Resident Assistant and has participated in Street Hope, a weekly ministry to the homeless in downtown Dallas. She has earned inclusion on the Dean’s List over several semesters and is a member of Theta Alpha Kappa.

Pitterson was one of 115 graduates within the College of Bible and Church Ministries. There are three colleges within the institution with Bible and Church Ministries comprising of the most graduates. The College of Business and Education had a total of 79 graduates followed by the College of Music and Communication Arts with 16 graduates.

Along with the large number of undergraduate students who walked the stage that Friday, the Harrison Graduate School had a total of 30 graduates. Details regarding the number of graduate degrees received are:

Master of Arts - 15

Master of Science - 5

Master of Divinity - 2

Master of Education - 8

Kelly Shackelford, Esq., President and CEO of First Liberty Institute was the commencement speaker. Shackelford was recently named one of the 25 greatest Texas lawyers of the past quarter-century by Texas Lawyer and is the recipient of the prestigious William Bentley Ball Award for Life and Religious Freedom Defense for his leadership and pioneering work protecting religious freedom.

The full ceremony is available at https://livestream.com/sagulive/spring2018.