Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2008-05-17

Samford University graduating seniors were urged to live by the five virtues that the Apostle Paul used to describe Jesus' way of life during baccalaureate service Friday, May 16.

Dr. Fisher Humphreys based his remarks on Colossians 3:12 in which Paul advises to "clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

"In this verse it is clear that Christianity is both a supernatural religion and a practical religion," said Humphreys, noting that Christianity is about a transcendent God "who has created us and who has called us together to be the people of God," and is also about a way of life that God "calls us to live in the world."

"We are to live the way of life that Jesus lived and taught," said Humphreys, who retires this year after 40 years in religious education, the last 18 on the faculty of Samford's Beeson Divinity School.

"Wouldn't you like to have a friend who is compassionate when you suffer, who is kind when you make mistakes, who has respect for you and for the Lord, who never attempts to control you, and who never becomes impatient with you or gives up on your relationship?" asked Humphreys.

"That is, of course, a description of Jesus. And that is the kind of person each of us is called by God to become," he said.

The invocation was offered by Daniel Aragon, whose daughter, Jill Aragon, is in the graduating class. Rev. Aragon, a former Sandinista soldier who became a Christian 11 years ago, is now pastor of a Baptist church in Cedro Galan, Nicaragua, and director of Christian schools in that country. Jill provided translation for his invocation, prayed in his native Spanish.

The Baccalaureate service was held in Wright Center Concert Hall for all graduating seniors and their families. The event followed a day of commencement ceremonies for graduates of McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Brock School of Business and Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, and an afternoon reception hosted by President Andrew Westmoreland.

Commencement ceremonies for graduates in other Samford academic units are scheduled for Saturday.

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About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.