Dr. Marcus Davidson, keynote commencement speaker, illustrated five facets of life ― failures, focus, friends, family and faith ― during his remarks at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Fall Commencement at The Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
More than 240 candidates for bachelor’s, master’s and professional degrees from the West Palm Beach, Orlando and online campuses participated in the ceremony. The first graduates of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program were among those honored.
“Life will present you with failures but failures are not final,” said Davidson, senior pastor of New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale. “Those defeats do not have to be the end, they can develop you and prompt you to move forward.”
Davidson said that he begins each day by meeting with God in order to focus on positivity. He encouraged the graduates to spend time with God daily and to think positive.
In the age of social media, Davidson said that it is important to make the distinction between followers and friends because you need people to encourage you, hold you accountable and tell you the truth.
Friendships aside, Davidson said to “never allow yourself to forget your family.” Family will be the people who will support you, encourage you and be your greatest cheerleaders.
As a gospel recording artist, entrepreneur, noted preacher, pastor and teacher, Davidson told the graduates to trust in God.
“God will always be between you and the challenges of life,” said Davidson. “In life you have to learn to embrace the process, keep your faith in God and you will be ready.”
Also during the ceremony, two of PBA’s outstanding graduates offered reflections on their time at the University.
Rachel Lois Furtado, an adult student who received a bachelor’s degree in organizational management, shared her appreciation to have found a place [PBA] to discover all the things God had designed her to be.
Luke Andrew Day, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English, expressed his gratitude toward PBA and all the lessons he learned throughout his academic career. He said that he encountered great ideas that inspired him, great professors who have guided him, and great students who have dialogued with him.
Others on the program included Associate Provost for Instruction and Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies Dr. Nathan Lane II, who offered the invocation; West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, who gave the greeting; and Maria E. Coe ’17, a bachelor of arts in ministry graduate who gave the benediction.