Celebrating Graduates through Commencement Parade

DBU May Commencement Parade

While schools around the country wrestle with commencement plans, Dallas Baptist University mapped the route – in every sense – for a creative DBU Commencement Parade on May 15.

Chairs and miniature American flags lined the road at the top of DBU’s hill overlooking Mountain Creek Parkway at ten feet apart, one of several efforts in place to carefully abide by social distancing guidelines throughout the event, where over 600 vehicles participated as make-shift floats for the riding graduates and their families.

May 2020 Commencement Ceremony

The Ceremony Opens

At 10:00 a.m., graduating student Zac Funderburk opened the ceremony reading DBU’s official verse, Jeremiah 29:11: "‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’"

Another graduating student, Haven Stevens provided an opening prayer. One minute of traditional, processional organ music played over the speakers, evoking a what might have been a traditional commencement procession in the Pilgrim Chapel.

Following the music, DBU President Dr. Adam C. Wright addressed the family and friends gathered (safely spaced apart) and reminded them of the historic moment that everyone in attendance, both in person or on Facebook Live, as well as local tv, were experiencing together.

"As a student of leadership, I often wondered whether the man makes the moment or the moment makes the man," Wright said. "We did not choose our place in history, but we do have a choice in how we respond to our place in it. We will not be paralyzed by fear, but courageously, gripped by grace, face our trials with the resolve that God is with us. And if God is with us, who can be against us?"

The Procession Began

With a chorus of honking horns from a line extending down through Kiest Blvd., the procession began with Dr. Wright and DBU Provost Dr. Norma Hedin, serving as Grand Marshalls for the Commencement Parade, leading the way and "walking" the graduates to the stage.

The graduates followed. Cars decked out with balloons, tinsel, and paint with sunroofs back and windows down, with students waving to all in attendance, cruised up the hill. They looped the campus and passed the chapel with balloon pillars, flags of the nations, and even a confetti cannon awaiting to conclude the triumphant lap.

The attendants at the parade were all equipped with noisemakers and party poppers as students’ names and degrees were read. 

"During what has proved to be an unusual semester for the DBU Family, God led us to provide this special Commencement Parade for our graduates," Dr. Wright said in a further statement. "A lot of work went into making this event possible so we could celebrate our graduates in the most memorable way and send them out from DBU with our love, thankfulness, and prayers."

The entire broadcast can be seen on the DBU Facebook page, as well as on the DBU Commencement page.

About Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University is a comprehensive Christ-centered university dedicated to producing servant leaders through the integration of faith and learning. With an enrollment of over 4,200 students, DBU's main campus is located in the foothills of southwest Dallas. DBU offers 77 undergraduate programs and 39 graduate degree programs in various fields, online college degree programs, and two doctoral programs. Get more information about Dallas Baptist University (www.dbu.edu) by browsing our website, emailing news@dbu.edu, or by calling (214) 333-5172.

Written by Jordan Jarrett

Jordan Jarrett is a member of University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.