BC Grads Urged to Never Underestimate the Power of Relationships
BRIDGEWATER, Va. – As Bridgewater College's graduating seniors and their families celebrated on the campus mall Saturday, May 17, Dr. Jeffrey Carter urged the 384 graduates to pay attention to the people they will meet in the years to come and to invest time, attention, and resources in the lives of others.
Carter, who graduated from Bridgewater College in 1992, is president of Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind.
Carter entered the ministry in 1993 as associate pastor of the Florin (Pa.) Church of the Brethren. In 1995 he joined the Manassas Church of the Brethren as associate pastor, then served as team pastor until being named senior pastor in 2003. He earned his master of divinity degree from Bethany in 1998 and, in 2006, received a doctor of ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.
His address, "A Lasting Impression," exhorted the graduates to focus on creating memorable relationships with others.
"Often people do not remember us by name or even what we say, but what we say and do does create a lasting impression," he said. "Therefore, our call is to place great care in our words and deeds, never underestimating the power of a relationship as we pay attention to life and the lives of others."
Carter said the graduates should learn names, ask questions and invest time, attention, money and their lives in other people.
"For one day," he noted, "someone will be listing the teachers who have made a difference, or the friends that really care, or the people who made them feel special, and your name will be remembered because you created, through the content of your character, a lasting impression."
Of Saturday’s graduates, 95 earned bachelor of arts degrees and 258 earned bachelor of science degrees. The college's president, Dr. David W. Bushman, conferred the degrees at the ceremony.
Thirteen members of the class graduated summa cum laude – the top academic honor which requires at least a 3.9 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Fourteen graduates earned magna cum laude honors – a 3.7 or better average. Cum laude honors, requiring a 3.4 grade point average, were earned by 78 graduates.