Rev. Walter B. “Lucky” Arnold III encouraged December graduates to fulfill their God-given purpose – to serve Him with gladness – whether they start working full-time or continue their education.
Arnold, the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of North Palm Beach, gave the commencement address during Friday’s ceremony. He has served as a University trustee since 2001, leading the student development committee.
Two hundred and sixty students graduated. Sarah Selden, outstanding graduate of the School of Arts and Sciences, and Megan Alsene, outstanding graduate of the School of Ministry, shared their reflections. Alsense, a biblical studies major, said her fondest memories of PBA revolve around people – and the deep conversations that shaped her thinking.
“These relationships, these experiences and the memories we made are going to go with us, even as we walk out these doors,” Alsene said.
Edward Amos, Brian James Miller, Jessica Cardoso Monteiro and Sarah A. Roginsky became the first students to graduate with Master of Science in Global Development/Master of Business Administration degrees. Garrett Haywood was the first student to graduate with a Master of Divinity/Master of Business Administration degree.
During his address, Arnold remembered touring campus with former University President Dr. Paul R. Corts. He was captivated by founder Jess Moody’s vision for a Christ-first University in downtown West Palm Beach.
Since then, Arnold has seen the University acquire land, construct buildings and found new schools.
“But I don’t think that’s what Dr. Moody dreamed about. I think you were what he dreamed about,” Arnold said. “He dreamed of a new generation of Christian leaders. That man prayed with you in mind.”
Expanding on the prophecy in Isaiah 9 foreshadowing the birth of Christ, Arnold exhorted graduates to let all that they do be an antidote to the darkness in the world, whether they are teachers, nurses, doctors or pastors.
“You have been made to make Him known,” Arnold said. “Whatever God calls you to do, do it for the glory of God. You represent the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.”
Photo 1: Rev. Walter B. “Lucky” Arnold III, a University trustee and senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of North Palm Beach, speaks to graduates during the winter commencement ceremony on Dec. 13, 2019 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. He encouraged them to serve the Lord in whatever they do.
Photo 2: Megan Alsene, outstanding graduate of the School of Arts and Sciences, addresses her peers during the University's winter commencement ceremony on Dec. 13, 2019. She was one of two students selected to speak.