Commencement Features Leaders in Education and Culture

In the midst of a weekend in which the Class of 2013 celebrates its accomplishments and anticipates the future, Asbury University will pause to heed the wisdom of Christian leaders in culture and education.

Dr. Matt Friedeman, a professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary, author and pastor, will deliver a baccalaureate address based on John 12:20-29 at 7:30 p.m. on May 3 in Hughes Auditorium (bio below). So far, the Friedeman family has four Asburians: Mary Boardman ’83 Friedeman, Caleb Friedeman ’11, Joshua Friedeman ’13 and Elijah Friedeman ’15.

“There’s nothing quite like an Asbury graduation,” Dr. Friedeman said. “The University experience is largely about academic achievement and forged friendships. The Awakened class should enjoy their friends and family, find meaningful ways to say good-bye and then begin putting themselves in position to be used of the Lord in the coming weeks, months and years to come.”

On May 4, Asbury will host two graduation ceremonies. Commencement for graduate students and degree-completion students (from Asbury’s Adult Professional Studies program) will take place at 10 a.m. in Hughes Auditorium. Dr. Debra McKenna Blews, a law professor, author and speaker, will deliver the commencement address.

Commencement for traditional undergraduate students will take place at 2 p.m. in the Luce Center. Dr. Edward Blews, Jr., president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, will deliver the commencement address.

For a complete schedule of the weekend’s event, visit http://www.asbury.edu/offices/provost/commencement.

Dr. Matt Friedeman
Dr. Matt Friedeman
Dr. Matt Friedeman

Dr. Matt Friedeman has been the Professor of Evangelism and Discipleship at Wesley Biblical Seminary since 1987. He has authored six books including “Discipleship in the Home” and “LifeChanging Bible Study.” He received his B.A./M.A./Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and his M.Div. from Asbury Theological Seminary. He has been active in the local, state and national media as a columnist, political analyst and radio talk show host. He is also the founding pastor of DaySpring Community Church in Clinton, Miss., since 2001. Dr. Friedeman is the husband of Mary Boardman ’83 Friedeman and father of Caleb ’11, Joshua ’13, Elijah ’15, Hannah, Ezekiel and Isaiah (still at home). The Friedemans are homeschoolers.

Debra McKenna Blews
Debra McKenna Blews
Dr. Debra McKenna Blews

For the past 20 years, Debra McKenna Blews has been a Visiting Professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich., and a member of the State Bar of Michigan. Before this position, she was a practicing attorney for the Cooley Clinic, Inc., a 501(c)(3), nonprofit-corporation law firm that represented nonprofit corporation clients. She is presently the Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee for Spring Arbor University and serves on the Executive Committee. Recently, Blews was appointed as a Senior Fellow of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities in Washington D.C. Blews is the author and editor of numerous articles covering legal issues for nonprofit corporations and is an accomplished public speaker. Debra received her B.A. from Seattle Pacific University and her J.D., with honors, from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. In 2012, she completed an LL.M. degree in International Law at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Ill.

Dr. Edward Blews, Jr.
Dr. Edward Blews, Jr.
Dr. Edward Blews, Jr.

Dr. Edward Blews, Jr., became the sixth president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in 2013. For the past 28 years, Blews has served as the president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan (AICUM). Blews is recognized as a national leader in the movement of independent higher education with a reputation as a passionate and enthusiastic advocate. Blews has also served in various leadership roles with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives (NAICUSE). He recently chaired the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative, a congressionally authorized collaboration between public and private higher education leadership, state higher education leaders and the U.S. Department of Education to improve higher education data and policymaking. Blews earned his juris doctor degree in 1989 from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from eight institutions.

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