The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor held commencement services for the Fall 2021 semester on Friday, Dec. 3, at the Bell County Expo Center. This was the university’s 165th graduating class, and a total of 417 students were awarded degrees, including 333 baccalaureate degrees, 45 master’s degrees, and 39 doctoral degrees.

UMHB President Dr. Randy O’Rear commended students for their dedication and determination to finish their degrees and celebrated the accomplishments of the class of 2021.

“Parents and family members, I know you are excited that this day has finally arrived, and I know how proud you are. Thank you for trusting UMHB with your graduate and for being a part of our Crusader family,” he said. “Fifty-eight members of your class are the first in their family to earn a college degree, and 15 of the undergraduates in your class are graduating with a perfect 4.0. The youngest members of your class are 20 years old, and the oldest member of your class is 59 years young.” He added, “We know you have bright futures ahead of you, and we are excited to be sending another group of Crusaders out into the world. We are confident that you are prepared and will use your distinctive Christian education to help make the world a better place. Our country and our world certainly need people like you.”

Student awards given during the ceremony included the Provost Medal for highest overall GPA, which was awarded to 15 students who each graduated with perfect 4.0 grade point averages: Luke Bentz of Fallbrook, CA, Gillian Black of Hurst, Kylie Dankert of Tomball, Svea DuShane of Orchard Beach, MD, Baylee Forbes of Frost, Emily Fordyce of Llano, Audrey Godley of Temple, Hannah Gray of Spring Branch, Kayla Janikula of Kingwood, Addison Joyner of Aledo, Lillian Malabo of Killeen, Sandra Rangel of Harker Heights, Jonathan Stirtz of Duncanville, Kayleigh Ussery of Quitman, and Kiley Watson of Waxahachie.

The Loyalty Cup, which is awarded to the student who is most representative of the university’s ideals, traditions, and spirit, was given to Mercedes Saldivar of Richland Hills and Gilda Tchao of Midland. The President’s Award for meritorious service went to Kailyn Strain of Hutto. The Honors Program Summa Cum Laude recipient was Jonathan Stirtz of Duncanville.

In addition, two UMHB students, Samuel Dean of Temple and Amanda Urick of Tomball, were commissioned as Second Lieutenants into the Army Nurse Corps at a formal ceremony on campus Friday morning. They were then officially sworn in at the commencement ceremony.

Local students who received Bachelor’s Degrees include:

Belton –

Hannah Elise Alexander – B.S. – Health Sciences; Bryce Douglas Anderson – B.S. – Exercise Physiology; Guillermo Carrillo – B.B.A. – Management & Accounting; Devon L. Castleberry – B.S. – Computer Science; Michael Patrick Chase, Jr. – B.B.A. – Business Computer Information Systems; Kierstin Paige Ellison – B.S. – Psychology Clinical Track; Wendi Ann Fitzwater – B.A.S. – Organizational Leadership; Carissa Flores – B.A. – Speech Communication; Quinton Eugene Fossett – B.S. – History 7-12 Certification; Zoe’ Nicole Goehring – B.S. – Biology; Nicholas Van Hammond – B.S. – Psychology Clinical Track; Ryan Johnson Jr. – B.S. – Exercise Physiology; Marshall Eugene Lowery – B.B.A. – Business Computer Information Systems; Owen T. Merriman – B.B.A. – Finance; Kylie Metcalf – B.S. – Biology; Brittany Deonne Minter – B.S. – Elementary Education: EC-6; Macey Nicole Moore – B.S.N. – Nursing; Lauren Michelle Newby – B.S.N. – Nursing; Valorie C. Nieto-Lewis – B.S. – Psychology Clinical Track; Jill Pippin – B.B.A. – Management; Dejuan Ramirez – B.G.S. – General Studies; Sara Joyce Skaggs – B.S.N. – Nursing; Adrien Valdez – B.B.A. – Management; Gloria Grace Wetherbee – B.A. – Multimedia and Information Technology; Reagan MacKenzie Williams – B.A. – Psychology Clinical Track; Hannah Elaine Wixson – B.S. – Psychology Clinical Track; Nicole Zubaty – B.F.A. – Graphic Design

Harker Heights –

Luana Fiorella Erickson – B.S.N. – Nursing; Jonathan Allan Gargus – B.S. – Computer Science; Daniel Leon, Jr. – B.G.S. – General Studies; Kendal Demetris Little – B.B.A. – Marketing; Sandra Rangel – B.A. – Interdisciplinary Studies; Samuel Isaiah Sanders – B.G.S. – General Studies; Alexis Victoria Urbina – B.S.N. – Nursing; Natalye Aracely Vasquez – B.A. – Criminal Justice

Holland –

Alejandra Maria Tristan – B.B.A. – International Business

Nolanville –

Madison Nicole Jackson – B.S. – Education: 4-8; Taryn E. Singleton – B.S.N. – Nursing; David Blake Taft – B.A. – History

Troy –

Stetson Chase – B.S.N. – Nursing; Nicholas John Murelli – B.S.N. – Nursing


Master’s Degrees


Belton –

Jonathan Robert Fish – M.B.A. – Business Administration; Jeremiah Froese – M.A. – Marriage Family & Child Counseling; Clinton Fry – M.S. – Exercise Physiology; Kelly Renee Huckabee – M.S.A. – Accounting; Jana Suzanne Carr Hummel – M.S.N. – Nursing; Christina Mercado-Venegas – M.B.A. – Business Administration; Lara Roshona Natario – M.Ed. – Curriculum and Instruction; Rebecca Lynne Sloane – M.S.M. – Management; Jacob Quincy Williams – M.S. – Exercise Physiology; Haley Renee Woeller – M.S.M. – Management

Harker Heights –

Mateo Adrian Key – M.S.A. – Accounting

Nolanville –

Shawn Michael Veach – M.S.N. – Nursing

Salado –

Kerry Lee Chambliss – M.Ed. – Educational Administration; Katrina Channele Gordon – M.S.N. – Nursing