The Rev. Dr. “Bill” C. Myers, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Charleston, West Virginia, will be the speaker for the Davis & Elkins College Class of 2022 Baccalaureate Service and Recognition of Graduates. Two ceremonies are set for Friday, May 6 in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium.
The First Presbyterian Church of Charleston, West Virginia, established the Davis & Elkins College Benfield-Vick Chaplain’s Chair, currently held by the Rev. Laura Brekke Wagoner.
Students in nursing, education and sport science, and natural sciences will attend the 5 p.m. ceremony. Students in social science, business, humanities and creative arts will attend the 8 p.m. ceremony. Graduates will be presented with academic hoods and commemorative medals.
“Each year our Baccalaureate Service is a highlight,” said D&E President, Chris A. Wood. “We are grateful to have Rev. Dr. Bill Myers joining us as our speaker, and the hooding ceremony is particularly meaningful to our graduates as they choose one member of our faculty or staff that has served as their mentor to place their academic hood over their head. The hugs and emotion that follow tangibly demonstrate the impact of this College on the life journey of our graduates.”
Graduating seniors who will lead the service of praise and worship celebrating the accomplishments of the Class of 2022 are Reagan Sharp of Morgantown; Andrew Shand of Napier, New Zealand; and Eliana McCutcheon of Elkins. The Davis & Elkins College Concert Choir, under the direction of Elizabeth Marshall-MacVean and accompanied by Donna Baroudi Huffman, will present various works. Also taking part in the ceremonies will be D&E President Chris A. Wood, Board of Trustees Chair Mark Barber ’75 and Benfield-Vick Chaplain the Rev. Laura Brekke Wagoner.
Myers’ sermon for the ceremony is titled “When All Else Fails Show Mercy.”
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Myers is a graduate of Monmouth College (also a Presbyterian-related college) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies. He then received his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He has served congregations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan prior to coming to West Virginia in 2021.
Along the way, he discovered his gifts for administration and teaching and that he is a pastor and preacher at heart. He also discovered that he enjoys empowering others in ministry as much as he enjoys serving in ministry. He believes the church is called to recognize the humanity of all who suffer and to respond by ministering to their needs, ending their humiliation, and participating in their lives. In this way, he believes the church is called to witness God’s power to restore people and redeem lives.
Through his experiences of ministry, he says, “I have discovered my calling in ministry is to provide and interpret opportunities in which we may experience God’s gracious love. Although often expressed in different ways, the message of the gospel as proclaimed to us – young people and adults, feeble in body, mind or soul – is the same: ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.’”
The Baccalaureate Service is part of the 113th Commencement Weekend at Davis & Elkins College, beginning with the Nurses’ Pinning Ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday, May 6 in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium with a reception immediately afterward. Two Commencement Ceremonies are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, May 7 in Myles Center for the Arts Harper-McNeeley Auditorium.
In addition to seating in the auditorium, space will be available in Myles Center for the Arts Senate Commons where guests can view Baccalaureate Services and Commencement Ceremonies via live stream video.
To ensure the safety and health of everyone, unvaccinated members of the campus community and unvaccinated guests are required to wear a mask. Masks will be available from any D&E staff member at the entrance to the auditorium.
For additional information, visit www.dewv.edu/commencement-2022/