Atlanta, Georgia – (May 13, 2013)
On Saturday, May 11, the Board of Trustees at Richmont Graduate University conferred Master’s degrees on 83 candidates. As the university’s largest graduating class to date, 46 students received their Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, 31 received their Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, and 4 received a Master of Science in Christian Psychological Studies. An honorary doctorate celebrating Hugh Huffaker’s generous gifts of time, talent and treasure was also awarded. Additionally, one degree was awarded posthumously for Richmont student, Shelley Byers, who passed away earlier this year.
“The day was a beautiful celebration of God’s faithfulness, the devotion of the graduates, and the love and support of all the family and friends who were there,” said Richmont’s Dean of Students, Dr. DeAnne Terrell. “Our goal is always to bring God glory throughout the ceremony and our hearts are full of gratitude for the great things He has done.
In addition to honoring this year’s graduates, Richmont named Elizabeth Dial as 2013’s Distinguished Alumna. A Nationally Certified Licensed Professional Counselor, Dial now uses her Richmont training in private practice at Serenity Counseling & Consulting, as a staff psychotherapist for the North Georgia Health District and as a contracted trainer through Emory University’s SEATEC program.
Similarly, Moose Lutes, Richmont’s Director of Financial Aid, received this year’s Peterson Award for the commitment and service he has shown to the university that has consistently exceeded his job demands and institutional expectations.
The university was also pleased to host Dr. Timothy Irwin as this year’s graduation speaker. As a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Irwin is an acclaimed author on leadership, a managing partner of IrwinInc., and a trusted consultant for some of the nation’s most successful companies including SunTrust Banks, Chick-fil-A, IBM, Gerber Products Company, The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, The Coca-Cola Company, and Turner Broadcasting Systems. His leadership guidance has also been featured on Fox News, via the Catalyst conference, and in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Investor’s Business Daily.
Speaking to Richmont’s newest graduates, Dr. Irwin encouraged students from Proverbs 4:23 and offered them several practical steps to take in avoiding the pitfalls that could disqualify them from leading, including: adopting a practice of frequent and rigorous self awareness; handling power with great care; speaking the truth of scripture into their lives; and creating a personal board of advisors. Overall, he graciously reminded students that their hearts are the core of their being and, even with all their excellent training, they should not get caught up in self-importance, but rather serve with humility.
Reflecting on the day, Dr. Keny Felix, Dean of the School of Counseling said, “Graduation is one of our most exciting times of the year. It is the culmination of years of diligent work on the part of students as they prepare to enter the field as counselors and marriage and family therapists or serve through various forms of ministry. We are certainly proud of the Class of 2013 and give God the glory for the privilege of witnessing his transformation in their lives during their tenure at Richmont. We are also grateful for the family members and friends who saw them through this season of their lives.”