The Rev. Dr. D. Jonathan Watts recently delivered the commencement address to the graduating class of Snead State Community College in Alabama. Dr. Watts is Director of Religious Studies at Snead State and John Wesley Professor of Homiletics and Biblical Studies at the Graduate Theological Foundation.
Dr. Watts remarked on his unique position by stating, “I am not an outsider. Many of these graduating tonight I have had in class. Those in caps and gowns with all the colors and stripes – the faculty, staff, and administration – are friends, colleagues and peers.” He brought to the ceremony a symbol of inspiration that many of the graduates and guests recognized – the toy Buzz Lightyear, a character from Pixar’s animated film Toy Story who was best known for his catchphrase, “To Infinity and Beyond!” He advised the graduates: “Find…someone to guide you, affirm you, encourage you, and remember you. The road of life is not created by always blazing new trails. We need someone who will listen to us, and in return, we will listen to them. Sometimes the journey is more interesting, more enjoyable, more insightful when we join with someone else on the road.”
Dr. Watts is an Oxford Foundation Fellow (2011) of the Graduate Theological Foundation where he serves as a Thesis Supervisor, Project Consultant, and E-Tutorial faculty.