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Carson-Newman graduates first class under University name

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Dr. Billy Kim, chair of the Far East Broadcasting Company in South Korea, addresses students during Carson-Newman’s Spring Commencement.

Dr. Billy Kim, chair of the Far East Broadcasting Company in South Korea, addresses students during Carson-Newman’s Spring Commencement.

“For 124 years this institution of higher education has been known as Carson-Newman College. But no more,” said Carson-Newman President Randall O’Brien. “Today, the first class of Carson-Newman University sits before you.”

A total of 267 students received their degrees during C-N’s Spring Commencement Ceremony held in Burke-Tarr Stadium. It is the first graduating class since Carson-Newman changed its name on February 11, 2013. Graduates received a coin with a Carson-Newman College seal on one side and the new University seal on the other to commemorate the historic event.

Dr. Billy Kim, chair of the Far East Broadcasting Company in South Korea, was the featured speaker. Known as “The Billy Graham of South Korea,” Kim reminded the graduates of the power of prayer. Prayer, Kim said, is what has set this nation apart.

Kim quoted what he said was a South American president’s assessment of America.

“South America was settled by men seeking gold,” he said. “But North America was settled by men seeking God.”

He praised America for its rich history of innovation, success, natural beauty, and faith, and thanked its citizens for defending his own country during the Korean War. However, he also challenged his listeners to remember the power of prayer.

“What America needs today is a generation of God-fearing mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers willing to kneel by the bedside all night that God may bring their wandering sons and daughters and grandchildren back to the fold of God,” said Kim in closing.

“May God bless every graduating person here,” said Kim. “Take with you the power of prayer.”

O’Brien presented Kim with an honorary doctorate during the ceremony for his years of faithful ministry.

“For his service to God, country, the world and love and service to Carson-Newman,” O’Brien said, “this morning, it is an honor for Carson-Newman University to bestow the honorary doctorate upon Dr. Billy Kim.”

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