Persley gives advice to fall 2018 graduates at commencement ceremony


William Seltzer with his wife and kids. He graduated with his bachelor’s in computer science. Photo by Hannah Lathen

Dr. Kimberly Persley gave the fall 2018 graduates three life lessons during her commencement speech Saturday at MacGorman Chapel on the Southwestern Theological Baptist Seminary campus.

Persley is a gastroenterologist with a clinical appointment at UT Southwestern Medical School Department of Digestive Disease, and she graduated from Wesleyan in 1989.

The first thing Persley told the graduates is to spend some time figuring out who they are.

“When you know who you are you’re willing to do things that are scary, things that you might fail at, but you know what, you get up and brush yourself off. Then you end up finding something that you are really good at,” Persley said.

The second lesson she told the students is, when they do not know what to do, always do what is right.

“The thing is, by doing the right thing, it may not be the popular thing to do,” she said. “Doing the right thing, you might lose friends and doing the right thing, you might not come out smelling like a rose, but we always know what the right thing to do is.”

The final lesson Persley told students is to find importance in serving and do it any time they get the chance to.

“One of the greatest rewards of my life has been the opportunity to do something nice and meaningful to someone else,” she said.

Tyler Jackson graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology, and he said leaving Texas Wesleyan is bittersweet.

“I learned a lot from the professors, faculty and the students there. I feel like it really prepared me to go on to the next step for master’s level and above,” he said. “It was very meaningful to me.”

William Seltzer achieved his bachelor’s in computer science. One of his biggest obstacles in getting his degree was being a student while being a husband and father.

“It is a relief,” he said.

Jada High received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Science. She said graduating is exciting but also scary.

“To finally be done is a very exhilarating feeling but very nerve racking because life is starting over again,” High said.

During the ceremony Wesleyan President Frederick Slabach announced Kimberly Wells, an associate accounting professor as winner of this year’s Exemplary Teaching Award.

Jada High poses for a photo after graduating with her bachelor’s in liberal science.
Photo by Hannah Lathen
William Seltzer with his wife and kids. He graduated with his bachelor’s in computer science.
Photo by Hannah Lathen
Students exit MacGorman Chapel after receiving their diplomas at Saturday’s commencement ceremony.
Photo by Hannah Lathen