Chand Delivers Commencement Speech

Graduation, News

Lee University conferred 250 degrees on Saturday, Dec. 10, during its winter commencement ceremony. Attendees heard speaker Dr. Samuel R. Chand encourage graduates in Lee’s traditional ceremony in the Conn Center. 

Chand spoke about three important decisions graduates will make in their lives along with three secrets to success. He motivated them to stay humble, curious, and grateful. Chand urged graduates to “keep dreaming the big dreams” no matter what their present circumstances look like. In concluding, he shared his life verse, Jeremiah 1:4-10, reminding them that they are known and called by God, and that He is always with them. 

In 1973, as a student at then Beulah Heights Bible College, Chand served as a janitor, cook, and dishwasher. Sixteen years later, he returned to Beulah Heights University as its president. Under his leadership, the university became the country’s largest predominantly African American Christian college. Now, as president emeritus and member of the board, he continues to minister to both students and faculty at the university.  

Chand received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Education from Beulah Heights University, an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Heritage Bible College, and a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Grace Theological Seminary. 

Of the 250 degrees conferred on Saturday, 7 seven were associate degrees, 211 were bachelor’s degrees, 28 were graduate degrees, and four were doctoral degrees. The winter event is one of three graduation weekends at Lee each year. Lee also holds commencements in May and July. 

Saturday’s ceremony was preceded by the Commissioning Service on Friday night, which featured five student speakers sharing their Lee experiences: Victoria Eachus, Valerie Fuqua, Samuel Duarte López, Brian Shaw, and Hannah Upton. A hooding ceremony for recipients of master’s degrees, education specialist degrees, and doctoral degrees also took place on Friday. 

The commencement and commissioning ceremonies can be viewed at

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