Wayland graduates 43

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Wayland graduate Rian Essex, right, shakes a line of hands including Dean Gary Mitchell’s, left, after being presented his diploma. Essex and his wife Shiloh earned master’s degrees.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

After eight years of teaching and coaching football at Clovis High School, Cal Fullerton decided to go back to school himself.

Fullerton was one of 43 students graduating Friday from Wayland Baptist University. The ceremony at Central Baptist Church was the college’s 12th Clovis campus graduation.

“Wayland is close,” Fullerton said. “And the teachers really, really work with you. Being a coach and having class at 5:30 p.m., sometimes I couldn’t get to class until 6 p.m. The teachers were really good about catching you up and working with your schedule.”

Fullerton was one of 20 graduates to earn a master’s degree. He went after it thinking of the future.

“If I do ever want to be an athletic director or principal, I would need the degree,” Fullerton said.

Dean Gary Mitchell welcomed graduates by congratulating them on their day.

“You have all worked extremely hard to achieve your educational goals,” Mitchell said. “I applaud the support and encouragement your friends and families have given you to get you here today.”

Mitchell said graduation is an exciting time for the faculty at the university.

“This is one of the joys of this position,” Mitchell said. “I get to see dreams come to pass in their lives.”