“Lead by example,” Palm Beach Atlantic University’s overall theme for this academic year, also was the challenge that commencement speaker Dr. Ken Mahanes issued to the fall 2011 graduating class on Saturday.
|Dr. Kenneth Mahanes delivered the commencement address Saturday at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
Dr. Mahanes, the University’s special adviser to the president, asked the more than 250 graduates at the Palm Beach County Convention Center to consider the way in which the Apostle Paul opened his life to public scrutiny in his message to the Corinthians.
There is no incentive for others to follow someone whose life and words are inconsistent, said Dr. Mahanes, the pastor of Lost Tree Chapel in North Palm Beach and a former vice president for religious life at PBA and the former dean of the University’s School of Ministry.
“Leading by example is a monumental challenge, but it is the most successful means of shaping and forming the lives of those who follow us, who see us as their role models,” he said.
For Christians, Jesus serves as the ultimate example, he said. “Nobody can live like Jesus,” he said. “That’s why it is absolutely essential for Jesus to live in us in order for Him to be seen through us.”
Someone once described Jesus’ approach to leadership in this way — He told them, He showed them and then He sent them, Dr. Mahanes said. Over these past few years, the graduating class has been told and shown, he said. "Now you’re being sent. Sent into a world that desperately needs your leadership. It is a high calling of God. The road may be at times tumultuous. We may grow weary. We may slip up and forget that others are even following our leadership. But daily hearing His call will keep us following Him.”
|Mother and son Cynthia Jean Creveling (B.S./MacArthur School of Leadership) and Michael C. Creveling (Rinker School of Business/Marketing) graduated together. Ms. Creveling graduated Summa Cum Laude.|
Saturday’s commencement ceremonies included remarks from two of this semester’s Outstanding Graduates, Natalie Alvarez of the MacArthur School of Leadership and Anna Kelly of the School of Communication and Media.
Alvarez, who underwent treatments for breast cancer while attending PBA, shared with her classmates an equation for success that she learned many years ago: E+R=O. “The Event plus your Reaction will determine your Outcome,” she said. “So always make it a positive outcome.”
Kelly, a theatre arts major, also offered words of encouragement to her classmates as they look toward the future.
“I challenge you to view this moment as a call to great adventure in a story filled with unknowns,” she said. “I pray you will allow yourself to participate in a much bigger story than the one you could write, a story abounding in God’s love and grace, filled with unexpected plot twists and all kinds of epic adventure.”
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio was among the platform guests, delivering a greeting to graduates. The Rev. Gerald Kisner, pastor of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, gave the benediction.
Among the hundreds of guests in attendance was former North Palm Beach Mayor and past Palm Beach State College President Ed Eissey, whose grandson, Michael, received a master’s degree from PBA in leadership.
|PBA POST-graduates -- now alumni -- stream out of the Commencement Ceremonies at the Palm County Convention Center. Some 250 students received their diplomas during Saturday's event. Palm Beach Atlantic University is an accredited, nondenominational Christ-centered college in West Palm Beach, Florida.||One PBA grad got congratulations from her sister via her Iphone. Her sister was calling from the hospital having just had a baby.