Montreat College celebrated its 108th academic year with its spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11, at Anderson Auditorium.

The ceremony honored 189 graduates, including 90 from the Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) program and 99 from the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). The Class of 2024 represented 17 states and 3 foreign nations, including Hungary, Portugal, and Spain. Notably, the graduating class included one graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree at 67 years young.

Alexa Incandela, a criminal justice major, spoke as the SAS valedictorian. In her speech to her classmates, she reflected on being terrified during her first ride on the back of her dad’s motorcycle, but her childhood fear transformed into a love for riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway on her Harley-Davidson Street Bob.

“I want to remind you that the sky is not the limit, you are your own limit,” the New Jersey native said. “Embrace change and never let fear stop you from living your life to the fullest. Find what fulfills you, and pursue your passion.”

In addition to Incandela, Shannon Mosher spoke as AGS valedictorian. A native of Wasilla, Alaska, Mosher completed her degree while working full-time professionally and as a single parent. Following graduation, she plans to work as a Speech Language Pathologist Assistant while pursuing her graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

“Pray to God for strength to set goals, put in the work to achieve these goals, and never forget to thank God when you exceed these goals above your original expectations,” Mosher advised while admitting that her high school teachers might be in a state of shock to learn that she had earned the honor of valedictorian.

In his commencement address, Rev. Dr. Dean Weaver, the Stated Clerk of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, explained how life is shaped by an overwhelming legion of decisions. He drew a positive example from the life of Joshua, highlighting his initial decision to serve the Lord, a commitment referenced in Joshua 24:15, a verse inscribed on the inside of Weaver’s wedding ring.

“Whatever is or whoever is at the center of your life will be the single greatest contributing factor on how you make decisions,” expressed Weaver, who was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Montreat College during the ceremony. “If you are at the center of your universe and you make decisions based on self and self-interest, it will almost certainly be at the expense of others. At the very least, have something bigger than yourself in the center, and your life will be better. I promise you.”

Dr. Don King, who served as commencement speaker at the 2023 ceremony, was honored during this year’s Commencement for 50 years of service at Montreat College. A Professor of English and Faculty Fellow, Dr. King is a renowned C.S. Lewis scholar, an award-winning author, and a recipient of Montreat College’s distinguished Professor of the Decade award.

Founded in 1916, Montreat College is a Christ-centered, liberal arts institution that teaches students to read deeply; write clearly, think analytically, critically, and creatively; argue persuasively, and work cooperatively. The college’s mission is to educate through intellectual inquiry, spiritual formation, and preparation for calling and career, all to impact the world for Jesus Christ. Montreat College has produced more than 13,000 graduates. This fall, the college is on track to enroll the largest freshman class in its rich history of more than a century.