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JCP: Milligan graduates 104 during Friday’s fall commencement

By Zach Vance

Original article found here on the Johnson City Press.

Milligan College graduate student Brandon Knorr just couldn’t seem to sleep Thursday night.

And he likely wasn’t the only one.

Knorr joined 103 other Milligan students who walked across the Mary B. Martin Auditorium stage Friday evening, shook Milligan College President William Greer’s hand and celebrated another educational accomplishment.

“I didn’t sleep (Thursday) night. It was part excitement and part nerves of just jumping into a job that really matters. But it just feels amazing,” said Knorr, who earned his master of science in occupational therapy and plans to start a job in his hometown of Knoxville.

“I’m graduating with a class of just amazing, innovative individuals. Up until this point, I’ve been a professional student and I’m ready to start my career and get out there. I’ve learned so much here.”

Knorr spoke gleefully, as did the hundred other students chatting among themselves while they lingered in Seeger Chapel’s hallway before entering the auditorium for the prelude and invocation.

As Greer began the ceremony, he highlighted the significance of the 2016 fall graduating class: Friday was the final day of Milligan’s year-long sesquicentennial celebration.

“So tomorrow, Dec. 10, marks the first day of our next 150 years,” Greer said.

“Commencement, as you know, isn’t just the end of that portion of your education that has taken place at Milligan. It’s also an end to an enormously important time when you have formed new friendships, you’ve faced and overcome challenges you didn’t think you could overcome.

Milligan’s December graduates included 43 undergraduate students and 61 graduate students.

Of those were: nine bachelor of arts graduates, 27 bachelor of science graduates, seven bachelor of science in nursing graduates, 12 master of business administration graduates, eight master of education graduates, 10 master of science in counseling graduates and 31 master of science in occupational therapy graduates.

Of the bachelor’s degree recipients, 24 are Adult Degree Completion Program students.

Friday also continued Milligan’s recent tradition of including more student engagement in its commencement ceremonies through scripture readings and prayer.

Graduate Grace A. Moorhouse read scripture from Deuteronomy while Matthew T. Samples led the benediction.

Graduates Celia K. Pless and Garrett M. McDonald were chosen to speak on behalf of the fall graduating class

“We are departing as different people than we were when we arrived,” Pless said during her speech.

“I have to believe that while we have gained a great deal of knowledge, what changed us the most was the people we encountered. Those who helped us grow, those who imparted wisdom and those who shared their hearts with us.”

Riley Prickett and Erin Raines provided music during the ceremony.

Email Zach Vance at zvance@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow Zach Vance on Twitter at @ZachVanceJCP. Like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/ZachVanceJCP.


MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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