Greenwood, Ark., resident Lauren Rachel Smith received a bachelor’s degree in applied communication during Oklahoma Baptist University’s 2013 Spring Commencement on Friday, May 17.

Smith graduated with the scholastic predicate cum laude for maintaining at least a 3.40 grade point average.

Dr. Bobby Kelly, who serves as Ruth Dickinson Chair of Bible at OBU, brought the Spring Commencement Address. Kelly joined the OBU faculty in 1997. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Clear Creek Baptist College in Pineville, Ky., and his master of divinity degree and doctorate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

A sought-after preacher and teacher in churches throughout Oklahoma, Kelly has been recognized for excellence as a professor. He received the Promising Teacher Award in May 2000, and in May 2011, he received the Distinguished Teacher Award, the highest honor for OBU faculty members.

In addition to the address from Kelly, the program included greetings by officials from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and induction of the graduates into the OBU Alumni Association. OBU President David W. Whitlock presented a charge to the graduates.

With campuses in Shawnee, Okla., and Oklahoma City, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 84 fields of study and two master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 1,979, with students from 37 states and 26 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 comprehensive colleges in the West by U.S.News and World Report for 21 consecutive years and has been Oklahoma’s highest rated comprehensive college in the U.S. News rankings for 19 consecutive years. consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma.

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