|Anna Kelly speaks at PBA's fall commencement ceremony.|
From her very first campus visit, theatre student Anna Kelly knew that Palm Beach Atlantic University was the place for her.
That semester, the theatre department was performing Man of La Mancha, she recalled. “I met some of the professors and I met the students, and then I was sold,” said Kelly, who ended up transferring to PBA from an arts conservatory in 2008.
As a theatre arts major pursuing a musical theatre track, Kelly has participated in six PBA productions, either onstage or behind the scenes.
This month the Roanoke, Va., resident was named Outstanding Graduate of the School of Communication and Media. In addition, she was chosen to offer her reflections to the fall 2011 graduating class during the University’s commencement ceremony on Dec. 17.
“Fellow graduates, I challenge you to view this moment as a call to great adventure in a story filled with unknowns,” Kelly told the more than 250 graduates and hundreds of audience members in attendance.
“As I embark on my own journey, I am thankful for the strong arms of the PBA community that taught me the importance of embracing a faith-filled life amidst the bumps and bruises along the way.”
|Anna Kelly receives the Outstanding Graduate award from Robert Simpson, chairman of the PBA Board of Trustees.|
“Anna exemplifies the quintessential Palm Beach Atlantic University student,” said Dr. Stephanie Bennett, associate professor of communication and media studies. “She is diligent and so bright, always endeavoring to do everything excellently and to the glory of God. She brings a great deal of determination and discipline to her studies, but always with the creativity and humility that are so necessary to walk in the fullness of God's purposes. I will miss her.”
In addition, Kelly has been active in a women’s ministry for theatre students. In 2010, she went on a PBA summer mission trip to Cambodia, where she and her team served at an intervention home designed to prevent girls from becoming involved in sex trafficking.
Kelly plans to remain in the West Palm Beach area to begin her acting career, and she plans to attend the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Tennessee in the spring. She also has an interest in long-term missions work.
“I know that God will take me to a plethora of places,” she said. “I think it’s important to see the world as a whole and not just know it from a Western perspective.”