Twenty years after he graduated from University of Lynchburg, Dr. Christopher Boyd ’97 challenged the newest graduating class to “rise up” to the challenges and opportunities ahead in their lives.
Dr. Boyd served as the 2017 Commencement speaker on Saturday, May 20, when more than 700 students celebrated their graduation. He acknowledged that some have definite plans, including jobs and graduate school, while others are searching for direction. But regardless of their post-graduation plans, each has a need to “rise up.”
“Though some things may be clear now, others may not,” he said. “In fact, every ‘rise up’ moment of our lives blossoms in the midst of, in the spite of, and because of our uncertainty.”
He shared two ‘rise up’ stories from his family. When he graduated, he left behind plans to be an admissions counselor for Lynchburg and accepted a job with a communications company. The fast-paced environment taught him many lessons that he now applies as an executive pastor. His wife, Jennifer Mul-Key Boyd ’95, decided upon her graduation that she did not want to pursue medical school and followed an inner passion for teaching. “Now for nearly 20 years my wife has been serving the needs of students as an educator in the greater Atlanta community, and she hasn’t looked back,” he said.
Dr. Boyd advised the students to rise to the occasion with three verbs: learn, live, and love.
“My goal today has been to encourage you to rise up and to fight this Goliath called life,” Dr. Boyd said. “University of Lynchburg has prepared and equipped you. And while many uncertainties remain, now is the time for you to rise up.”
Earlier in the program, Nancy Letcher Hammersley ’79, ’82 MBA, vice president of the University of Lynchburg Alumni Association, welcomed the graduates to the alumni family and reflected on the impact that they have had on the life of LC.
“You will always be a part of University of Lynchburg, and it will always be a part of you,” she said. “Each time you volunteered, stayed up late to finish a project, helped a classmate, cheered our Hornets on, or played an intramural game, you carried on the legacy that makes LC the college we know and love.”
She encouraged the new alumni to to get involved in the Alumni Association and stay connected with each other and the College. “Legacy exists only when it is nurtured,” she said.