Live the college motto, be truth and light, Vaughn tells Judson graduates

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 3, 2004

“It matters now more than ever to be a Judson woman,” said Dr. Carol Ann Vaughn at the 166th commencement of Judson College on June 26.

“This is the only woman’s college remaining in Alabama.

You’ve got something to contribute.

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Go out and bless others as you’ve been blessed here.”

Vaughn directs the Christian Women’s Leadership Center in Birmingham which is a joint venture of the Southern Baptist Convention Woman’s Missionary Union and Samford University.

She served as head of the history and political science department at Judson from 1997 until 2000, and continues her service to the college as a member of the Board of Advisors.

Judson President Dr. David Potts presided at the commencement and awarded diplomas to the graduating seniors.

Potts noted that the class had distinguished themselves in and out of the classroom.

“This class has represented the college with grace and dignity,” he said.

“I commend the service you’ve rendered in the Black Belt and throughout the world.

One among this group returned today from her medical missions trip to Africa to graduate with her class, and others will serve Christ as mission volunteers this summer.”

Potts further noted that the college was celebrating the 100th anniversary of Alumnae Auditorium where the ceremony was held. The first commencement in the facility was in May, 1904. Alumnae Auditorium underwent extensive renovations in 1996 and was rededicated that year. It was more recently the location for the college’s weekly worship services for over two years while Ramsay/McCrummen Chapel in the Jewett Hall complex was renovated.

Vaughn noted in her remarks that the graduates were leaving to be part of the so-called “culture wars” in America, and might even be targets.

“Christian women are transformers, not conformers,” she said.

“The Judson motto is ‘truth and light,’ and Jesus Christ commands us to take both to our world. Remember that truth sets us free, and light grows brighter by being shared.”

Vaughn proposed that much of Christian culture has failed, too.

“The rate of burn-out and depression among Christian women is no different than among non-Christian women,” she said.

“Sometimes the church relegates women only to the ‘beauty pageant’ and neglects to hear the voice of God within you.

The Holy Spirit is in you and will work through you.

You have much to contribute to the kingdom.

“You’ve worked and flourished in the Black Belt,” she continued.

“Now you’ll go out as Judson graduates.

There are no Oscars in the church for acting or role-playing, so be yourself.

Do not hide the light and truth within you. To love another person is to see the face of God.”

After conferring degrees, Potts recognized five persons for outstanding accomplishments.

Catherine McPhail of Northport received both the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award and the Scholarship Award for registering the highest academic average, Rebecca Givens of Mobile received the J.C. Faulkner Award and Melissa Benson of Monroe, NC received the Bible Award for outstanding Christian service.

Judson trustee Charles Dunkin of Birmingham received the non-student Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for his contributions to the college.

Debbie Kornegay, Instructor of Accounting and Interim Head of the Business Administration Department, received the Lula and Alton Holley Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching.