Mars Hill University 2024 Spring Commencement

195 students received degrees.

Jonas Randolph
Jonas Randolph, a social work graduate from Asheville.

195 students received degrees during the university’s spring commencement on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

Thirty-one graduates received master’s degrees, in criminal justice, education, management, or teaching. Undergraduate degrees presented were the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Bachelor of Social Work.

The 14 Bachelor of Science in Nursing Students also were honored during a pinning and lamp-lighting ceremony to mark their passage from the student role to the medical practice role.

Jonas Randolph, a social work graduate from Asheville, gave the student address representing the Adult and Graduate Studies program. “Graduation is not about the end result,” he said. “It’s about the journey, the setbacks, the struggles, and the resilience that got us here today. It’s about the times we stumbled and fell, and chose to get back up and keep moving forward. Now we have the tools to take us where we’ve always known we could be. Endless opportunities await for us to let us serve our purpose.”

Randolph previously attended Mars Hill as a traditional undergraduate student and was a star on the football team, winning the 2011 Harlon Hill Trophy, NCAA Division II football’s highest player honor and comparable to Division I’s Heisman Trophy. He resumed his education in the university’s Adult and Graduate Studies program, completing the requirements for a Bachelor of Social Work degree.

Other students on the program included Deja Benton, a criminal justice major from Asheville, who gave the invocation; music education majors Judah Barak of Mars Hill, North Carolina, and Jared Dunn of Asheville, who presented special music; and Marcus Orta, a music education and music performance major from Traphill, North Carolina, who led the singing of the university “Alma Mater.”


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