Congratulations Class of 2014

May 12, 2014 | Leave a Comment

“Today is all about you . . . Tomorrow it’s not”

Profiles, recaps, photos, advice, etc. -- the ultimate roundup of May 2014 graduation

Campbell University conferred 1,038 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees over five graduation ceremonies May 9 and May 10. In her commencement speech during the main ceremony Saturday, Dr. Karen McNeil-Miller, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Foundation, encouraged the students to make the most of their graduation day, because it was one of the few days in their life that it was all about them.

“The day you’re born is all about you. Your funeral is all about you. Unfortunately, you don’t get to enjoy either of those events,” she said. So enjoy graduation, she said, but then move past it.

“Come tomorrow, it’s not about you anymore,” she said. “All the other days in your life should be about somebody else. They should be about you being in service to or in service for somebody else.”

Below are profiles of 15 of Campbell’s newest alumni who exemplify the ways the university prepares its students to do that. Whether as pastors, health professionals, teachers, intelligence specialists, zookeepers, or elected officials, among numerous other professions, Campbell alumni set out to serve others and their communities.


Meet 15 of Campbell’s new alumni

Cindy Blankenship

If you’re in Florida this summer, stop by Zoo Miami and say hey to Cindy Blankenship ’14, the aquatics and ectotherms keeper. (Also be sure to ask her about the 15 reptiles she owns.)

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Mario Bonilla

Veteran Mario Bonilla ’14 hopes to someday work for an intelligence agency like INTERPOL, which made the homeland security program at Campbell an ideal fit for him.

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Jonathan Bridges

As a member of the Master of Science in Public Health charter class, Jonathan Bridges ’14 MSPH is showing how the field can changes lives, even his own.

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Meredith Brown

Meredith Brown ’14 wanted to set an example for her four children, so she returned to college after a 20-year absence with two goals in mind: graduate with a 4.0 GPA and become a teacher.

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Dominik Kaniewski

With three degrees and two minors from Campbell’s School of Business in 4½ years, the doors are wide open for Dominik Kaniewski ’14 MBA.

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Lynne Castles & James Kearney

Lynne Castles ’14 has served as the sign language interpreter for James Kearney ’14 since he was in the 8th grade. God put them together, Castles says, so it was fitting they graduated together.

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James Demmel

The religion department is a “family of 50” that grows together in faith, James Demmel ’14 said. He’s going to miss that family as he continues his studies at Duke Divinity School in the fall.

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Caleb Johnson

Caleb Johnson ’14 transferred to Campbell unsure if he would fit in at the school. With law school up next and a Homecoming King crown under his belt, it’s safe to say he thrived here.

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Yanneka King

Yanneka King ’14 JD attended Campbell Law because she wants to change higher education in North Carolina -- and she wants to become the state’s governor.

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Sonie Lama

Sonie Lama ’14 PharmD, ’14 MSCR wanted to set herself apart from other scientists and create as many career opportunities as possible, so she came to Campbell University and ended up landing a prestigious fellowship.

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Hannah McClellan

Hannah McClellan ’14 has spent the past four years cheering on the Campbell football and basketball teams. Her focus will soon shift to cheering on the students in her classroom.

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David Priddy

David Priddy ’08, ’14 MDIV graduates from Campbell Divinity School with a deeper respect for community and scripture.

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Brandon Wilson

Though Brandon Wilson ’14 began his college search in California -- far, far away from his hometown of Cary, N.C., -- he feels lucky to have ended up at Campbell, where his father is an associate professor of music.

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Jordan Zepher

As the co-founder of two ministry groups that aim to make religion accessible to all people, Jordan Zepher ’14 will leave quite a legacy at Campbell. And the lessons from Campbell she’ll take with her? That even doubt can strengthen faith.

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Graduation News

Special commencement ceremony held for Campbell Student Athletes
May 12, 2014

Extended campuses round out commencement weekend
May 10, 2014

Graduates soak up ‘their day’ at spring commencement
May 10, 2014

Identity matters, retired professor tells 53 Divinity School graduates
May 9, 2014

College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences holds its 25th graduation ceremony
May 9, 2014

Campbell Law confers 150 degrees at 2014 graduation
May 9, 2014

Campbell to hold 6 commencement, commissioning services Friday, Saturday
May 5, 2014

Top 5 pieces of advice to new alumni

  1. “Don’t forget where you came from. The Campbell family will be cheering you on no matter where you go next.” – Mallory Jones

  2. “Keep Jesus Christ first in your life. Remember Jeremiah 29:11: ‘The Lord has great plans for you;. . . plans for good and not for evil, to give you hope and a future.’” -- Steve and Traci Pierce

  3. “Reach for the stars and while your arms are extended high, give a high five to your parents, your family, your friends, your professors, and everyone else who has helped you reach this point in your life.” – Pete Sciascia

  4. “Be active in the local and national alumni chapters. You will meet many wonderful Campbell friends.” – Kay Abbott Bissette

  5. “Now the real learning begins. To succeed, you will need to study even more.” – Steve J. Steinbeck.

Graduation via Storify

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