Belton, Texas – On Wednesday, August 23, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor held its 172nd Fall Convocation. The ceremony celebrated the beginning of the new academic school year.
The event opened with a processional of faculty members and administrators, followed by a parade of flags. The 62 flags represented the nations around the globe and states around the country from which students have come to UMHB this year.
“As you can see, this year’s student body comes from all over the world, representing 31 states and 31 countries,” President Randy O’Rear said.
O’Rear gave some added details about this year’s new students, noting that they range in age from 15 to 74. Additionally, he pointed out that roughly 200 of those students are the first from their families to attend college.
The university’s One Voice ensemble gave a rousing performance of “We Are Family,” that had the crowd clapping in unison.
Rev. Willie Earl Robertson, pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Temple, was the guest speaker. He encouraged students to discover their strengths and weaknesses.
“As those strengths and weaknesses become known, seek the assistance of those who have been divinely placed in your path to recognize your gifts and to guide you into those vocations where you will be impacted positively and will impact others,” Robertson said.
Robertson also implored his audience to build relationships and support one another while on campus.
“I want you to know that your University of Mary Hardin-Baylor family is doing life with you,” Robertson said, “and all of this, young people, is vital to your preparation, preparation that will equip you to enter into your fine destiny.”
Robertson closed by expressing his high hopes for all those in attendance.
“I’m excited about the journey that you’ve started here today,” Robertson said. “I’m praising and thanking God that you decided to choose the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, because I’m already expecting and eagerly anticipating the positive impact that will bless you in such a time as this.”