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2018 Spring Commencement Rife with University Traditions as Graduates Depart to Serve, The Answered Prayer of a Dream


A tree planting by seniors whose shade will be enjoyed by future generations, a consecration ceremony culminating in a wreath-laying at the gravesite of founder Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and graduation ceremonies overflowing with wisdom, love and the charge to serve, marked the culmination of Bethune-Cookman University's Spring Commencement 2018.

"Stand up. Speak up. Be your talented, brilliant selves," said Dr. Val Demings, U.S. Congresswoman and commencement speaker.

"To the class of 2018, you are joining a fraternity of graduates of Bethune-Cookman University and you can compete with anybody. The education you get here can compete with any school in this country," reminded Dr. Donovan Wells, who challenged graduates to find someone in need and help them without expecting anything in return.

"The spirit of B-CU - the love prayers and commitment that you are taking with you, professors who called you by your name and cared about you - have contributed more to your education than you'll ever realize," said commencement speaker Dr. Henry Thomas, who also challenged the graduating class to support the University financially in order to ensure its sustainability.

In short, all in attendance were transformed by the renewing of their minds.

Dear Alma Mater, thou beloved,

We pledge our lives to thee,

Thou art results of toil and pain

And tears come in a stream;

Dear Alma Mater, thou art all

And all the world to me –

Thou art the answered prayer of a dream.

Oh, God, protect dear B.C.C.

Crown her with love and cheer;

We’ll ever sing thy praise to Thee,

It makes us strong and bold.

All hail to thee dear B.C.C.

All hail to thee, all hail!

Hail thee, Maroon and Gold.

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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