Mount Union Holds 167th Baccalaureate Service

May 11, 2013

ALLIANCE, Ohio — The University of Mount Union held its 167th Baccalaureate service on Saturday, May 11 in the Peterson Field House of the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex. The service preceded the University’s Commencement ceremony.

The student-organized worship service featured scripture readings, hymns and performances by the University’s Inspirational Voices of Praise.

The Rev. Dr. Ivory Lyons Jr., professor of philosophy and religious studies, gave the sermon, “Rise to the Occasion.” He spoke from the passage 1 Timothy 4:11-16, which is a charge from the writer, Apostle Paul, to a young disciple, Timothy, to not let anyone look down on him because of his age but to be an example for others.

Lyons told those in attendance that rising to the occasion means to meet the challenges set before them.

“It’s not what you do when you win, but how you react when you lose,” he said. “That is how your real character is tested.”

Lyons said that as graduates embark on a new adventure, there will be many distractions but they should commit themselves to being people of integrity.

“Integrity is something no one can take away from you,” he said. “You can be tested with the choice to do something unethical or do the right thing – you can rise to the occasion or fall into it.”

During his sermon, Lyons said that one of the most difficult things to do is to love.

“It’s hard to love your enemies but the hardest thing is to love yourself – if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love another person,” he said.

Following the sermon, Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of the University, led the Seniors’ Prayer.

Also during the ceremony, select members of the Class of 2013 presented pink roses, as symbols of thankfulness, to faculty, administrators and trustees for their support and encouragement.

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