JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Milligan University kicked off the 2023 graduation season with its Spring Commencement on Saturday.

Across two ceremonies, 246 graduates received their undergraduate, graduate and even some doctoral degrees.

Milligan University President Dr. Bill Greer said that class size is above average for the school.

“Generally, we’re around 220-225, so we might have a little bit more this year,” Greer said. “It’s just a fulfillment of our mission. That’s why I’ve said repeatedly that passing out diplomas is my favorite part of being president of Milligan University.”

The ceremony featured prayer, singing of the school’s alma mater and words of wisdom from both graduating students and faculty.

Alexander Windham received his degree in Business Administration with a 4.0 GPA. He spoke in front of his graduating class in the morning ceremony.

“Milligan has meant so much to me,” Windham said. “I’m not the person today that I was when I came here four years ago. To represent my peers and this campus that has done so much for me, it was such a great honor.”

Greer said the day represents the culmination of months and years of hard work for these students.

“Milligan is a rigorous institution,” Greer said. “We prepare students well, and technically we’re preparing them for their careers, but also from the point of view of just creating young people who want to follow Christ and impact the world in a positive way.”

Graduation often involves plenty of goodbyes as students leave the campus and head out into the world.

Windham said he has made memories and learned lessons that will stick with him for years to come.

“I’m just thankful for all the people here that have helped me be the person that I am today,” Windham said.

Windham said he will stay at Milligan for his graduate education.