Davis Urges Students to Shed Fear at Baccalaureate

by Billy Chandler
Susannah Davis (’93) was the speaker at the 2019 Baccalaureate Ceremony. Her speech revolved around Mark 5:36 and the story of Jesus’ teachings on ridding yourself from fear and trusting in faith.

Speaking before a crowded Chapel hall, President Schrum said, “The Baccalaureate is a chance to reflect together and in private on your years here at Emory & Henry. It is a chance to thank the divine presence that brought us all here together.” The ceremony began with prayer and hymnals from the E&H Chamber Choir and an introduction from Rev. Sharon Wright, College Chaplain, to the 2019 Baccalaureate speaker Susannah Davis, ’92. “Susannah was one of the leaders here on campus. She always had her arms open wide with an attitude of welcome to all!”

Susannah Davis grew up in Warrenton, Ga., and graduated from Emory & Henry College in 1992 and attended the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. After graduating from Candler, she was ordained in the United Methodist Church and served churches and agencies in the North Georgia Conference for the following 11 years before receiving a call to start a new church with the Church of Christ in 2006. She now serves on the E&H Alumni Board.

“This is the rhythm of life. Moving and shaking and dancing all to the tune of trying to figure this life out,” Susannah said of her time here at the College. “If we just try and move forward, everything is gonna work out! Until it doesn’t.” Davis talked during her speech about how many things in life are out of our control and how it can be hard to believe that everything is going to work out. The lesson revolved around Mark 5:36 in the Bible. “Do not fear, only believe. That is what Jesus told us. We can decide to be terrified or we can decide to believe that everything will be okay.”

“We are not alone, no matter where we’re going or where we have been,” Davis said in resolution. “You will feel out of control and you will be out of control, but you will not be alone.” Davis’ speech ended with an acoustic set of The Wood Song by the Indigo Girls, performed with current students Ashelyn Walters and Ron Miller and professor of Chemistry Jamie Ferguson. 

We are not alone, no matter where we’re going or where we have been.
-Susannah Davis (’93)

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3045-hundreds-of-new-students-arrive-at-emory-henry"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2132,2133/14238_Move-in-Day_8-5-23_0482.rev.1691522132.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2132,2133/14238_Move-in-Day_8-5-23_0482.rev.1691522132.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2132,2133/14238_Move-in-Day_8-5-23_0482.rev.1691522132.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2132,2133/14238_Move-in-Day_8-5-23_0482.rev.1691522132.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2132,2133/14238_Move-in-Day_8-5-23_0482.rev.1691522132.jpg" alt="Emory & Henry welcomes nearly 450 new students to campus." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2132,2133/14238_Move-in-Day_8-5-23_0482.rev.1691522132.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2132,2133/14238_Move-in-Day_8-5-23_0482.rev.1691522132.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2132" data-max-h="2133" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3045-hundreds-of-new-students-arrive-at-emory-henry">Hundreds of New Students Arrive at Emory & Henry</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nearly 450 new students are calling Emory, Va. home today!</span></p><a href="/live/news/3045-hundreds-of-new-students-arrive-at-emory-henry" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3504-emory-henry-lauds-students-with-academic-and-community-"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15807_Awards-Day_4-21-24_336.rev.1714077366.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15807_Awards-Day_4-21-24_336.rev.1714077366.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15807_Awards-Day_4-21-24_336.rev.1714077366.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15807_Awards-Day_4-21-24_336.rev.1714077366.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15807_Awards-Day_4-21-24_336.rev.1714077366.jpg" alt="Emory & Henry Biology Department awards winners at the Awards Day on Sunday, April 21 at Emory & Henry College." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15807_Awards-Day_4-21-24_336.rev.1714077366.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15807_Awards-Day_4-21-24_336.rev.1714077366.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2133" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3504-emory-henry-lauds-students-with-academic-and-community-">Emory & Henry Lauds Students with Academic and Community Awards</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Emory & Henry Students Celebrate Academic Accomplishments at the 2024 Awards Day Convocation</p><a href="/live/news/3504-emory-henry-lauds-students-with-academic-and-community-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3493-emory-henry-senior-first-acting-fellow-at"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,0,1703,1363/15773_destinee-nikole-theatre_2.rev.1713986200.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,0,1703,1363/15773_destinee-nikole-theatre_2.rev.1713986200.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,0,1703,1363/15773_destinee-nikole-theatre_2.rev.1713986200.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,0,1703,1363/15773_destinee-nikole-theatre_2.rev.1713986200.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,0,1703,1363/15773_destinee-nikole-theatre_2.rev.1713986200.jpg" alt="Emory & Henry student Destinee Nikole on stage" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,0,1703,1363/15773_destinee-nikole-theatre_2.rev.1713986200.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/339,0,1703,1363/15773_destinee-nikole-theatre_2.rev.1713986200.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1364" data-max-h="1363" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3493-emory-henry-senior-first-acting-fellow-at">Emory & Henry Senior First Acting Fellow at Barter Theatre</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Senior at Emory & Henry First to Receive Barter Theatre’s Black Fellowship</p><a href="/live/news/3493-emory-henry-senior-first-acting-fellow-at" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3408-emory-henry-recognizes-those-who-are-committed-to-servi"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,0,2662,2134/15632_Hope-Awards-2024.rev.1712930829.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,0,2662,2134/15632_Hope-Awards-2024.rev.1712930829.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,0,2662,2134/15632_Hope-Awards-2024.rev.1712930829.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,0,2662,2134/15632_Hope-Awards-2024.rev.1712930829.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,0,2662,2134/15632_Hope-Awards-2024.rev.1712930829.jpg" alt="Hope Award recipients" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,0,2662,2134/15632_Hope-Awards-2024.rev.1712930829.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/531,0,2662,2134/15632_Hope-Awards-2024.rev.1712930829.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2131" data-max-h="2134" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3408-emory-henry-recognizes-those-who-are-committed-to-servi">Emory & Henry Recognizes Those Who are Committed to Service with Hope Awards</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> The Hope Awards were recently presented by the Appalachian Center for Civic Life at Emory & Henry to six outstanding members of Emory & Henry College faculty, staff, a graduate and an undergraduate student, a community member and an organization or service project.</p><a href="/live/news/3408-emory-henry-recognizes-those-who-are-committed-to-servi" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3030-emory-henry-honored-as-an-affordable-college"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1450,815/14182_Fall_Drone_CoD.rev.1690559385.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1450,815/14182_Fall_Drone_CoD.rev.1690559385.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/png" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1450,815/14182_Fall_Drone_CoD.rev.1690559385.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1450,815/14182_Fall_Drone_CoD.rev.1690559385.png 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1450,815/14182_Fall_Drone_CoD.rev.1690559385.png" alt="Recognized for exceptional value, Emory & Henry College stands out among its national peers in providing affordable education." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1450,815/14182_Fall_Drone_CoD.rev.1690559385.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1450,815/14182_Fall_Drone_CoD.rev.1690559385.png 3x" data-max-w="1450" data-max-h="815" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3030-emory-henry-honored-as-an-affordable-college">Emory & Henry Honored as an Affordable College of Distinction</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Emory & Henry College has been awarded a prestigious distinction for its commitment to affordability compared to other institutions. The recognition comes from Colleges of Distinction, a resource that selects schools based on the quality and diversity of hands-on experiences rather than relying on traditional rankings.</span></p><a href="/live/news/3030-emory-henry-honored-as-an-affordable-college" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3505-gov-youngkin-approves-emory-henry-and-regional"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/155/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/788,0,2612,1825/15406_HEALS-HealthcareExcellenceAcademyLabSchoolMeeting_11-27-23_0118.rev.1708369114.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/155/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/788,0,2612,1825/15406_HEALS-HealthcareExcellenceAcademyLabSchoolMeeting_11-27-23_0118.rev.1708369114.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/155/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/788,0,2612,1825/15406_HEALS-HealthcareExcellenceAcademyLabSchoolMeeting_11-27-23_0118.rev.1708369114.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/155/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/788,0,2612,1825/15406_HEALS-HealthcareExcellenceAcademyLabSchoolMeeting_11-27-23_0118.rev.1708369114.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/155/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/788,0,2612,1825/15406_HEALS-HealthcareExcellenceAcademyLabSchoolMeeting_11-27-23_0118.rev.1708369114.jpg" alt="People on assembly stage with a presentation projected on a screen" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/155/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/788,0,2612,1825/15406_HEALS-HealthcareExcellenceAcademyLabSchoolMeeting_11-27-23_0118.rev.1708369114.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/155/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/788,0,2612,1825/15406_HEALS-HealthcareExcellenceAcademyLabSchoolMeeting_11-27-23_0118.rev.1708369114.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1824" data-max-h="1825" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3505-gov-youngkin-approves-emory-henry-and-regional">Gov. Youngkin Approves Emory & Henry and Regional Partners to Move Forward with Southwest Virginia Lab School Plans</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Emory & Henry College Approved as One of Six New Lab Schools in Virginia by Governor Glenn Youngkin To Help Address the Healthcare Workforce Shortage</p><a href="/live/news/3505-gov-youngkin-approves-emory-henry-and-regional" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3547-emory-henry-college-celebrates-200-graduating"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15853_EH_Commencement_MC_5-4-25_04635_1_1.rev.1714862843.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15853_EH_Commencement_MC_5-4-25_04635_1_1.rev.1714862843.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15853_EH_Commencement_MC_5-4-25_04635_1_1.rev.1714862843.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15853_EH_Commencement_MC_5-4-25_04635_1_1.rev.1714862843.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15853_EH_Commencement_MC_5-4-25_04635_1_1.rev.1714862843.jpg" alt="Emory & Henry College, 176th Commencement on May 4, 2024" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15853_EH_Commencement_MC_5-4-25_04635_1_1.rev.1714862843.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/15853_EH_Commencement_MC_5-4-25_04635_1_1.rev.1714862843.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2133" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3547-emory-henry-college-celebrates-200-graduating">Emory & Henry College Celebrates 200 Graduating 2024 Seniors</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> The First to Come to Campus During a Pandemic and the Last to Have College on Diplomas First Class of Nine Nurses to Enter the Workforce</p><a href="/live/news/3547-emory-henry-college-celebrates-200-graduating" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2765-emory-henry-receives-2-million-gift-from-the"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/13397_Gatton-Foundation-EH-Equestrian-Center-Grand-Arena-Gift_354.rev.1676915660.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/13397_Gatton-Foundation-EH-Equestrian-Center-Grand-Arena-Gift_354.rev.1676915660.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/13397_Gatton-Foundation-EH-Equestrian-Center-Grand-Arena-Gift_354.rev.1676915660.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/13397_Gatton-Foundation-EH-Equestrian-Center-Grand-Arena-Gift_354.rev.1676915660.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/13397_Gatton-Foundation-EH-Equestrian-Center-Grand-Arena-Gift_354.rev.1676915660.jpg" alt=" Celebrating the $2 million gift from the Bill Gatton Foundation to Emory and Henry: President John W. Wells; Bill Gatton Foundation Tr..." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/13397_Gatton-Foundation-EH-Equestrian-Center-Grand-Arena-Gift_354.rev.1676915660.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/13397_Gatton-Foundation-EH-Equestrian-Center-Grand-Arena-Gift_354.rev.1676915660.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2133" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2765-emory-henry-receives-2-million-gift-from-the">Emory & Henry Receives $2 Million Gift from The Bill Gatton Foundation to Name the Grand Arena at Future Equestrian Center</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> The Bill Gatton Foundation, located in Bristol, Tennessee, has donated $2 million to Emory & Henry College to support the construction of its new equestrian center to be located adjacent to the College campus on Interstate 81, at Exit 26. </p><a href="/live/news/2765-emory-henry-receives-2-million-gift-from-the" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3117-emory-henry-college-welcomes-largest-amount-of"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/14468_EH-Week-of-Welcome-Orientation-Sessions-August2023_0713.rev.1693339722.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/14468_EH-Week-of-Welcome-Orientation-Sessions-August2023_0713.rev.1693339722.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/14468_EH-Week-of-Welcome-Orientation-Sessions-August2023_0713.rev.1693339722.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/14468_EH-Week-of-Welcome-Orientation-Sessions-August2023_0713.rev.1693339722.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/14468_EH-Week-of-Welcome-Orientation-Sessions-August2023_0713.rev.1693339722.jpg" alt="Emory & Henry College climbed to 1,105 residents this fall, the largest number of undergraduate students on the Emory campus since 2004!" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/14468_EH-Week-of-Welcome-Orientation-Sessions-August2023_0713.rev.1693339722.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/83/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2133/14468_EH-Week-of-Welcome-Orientation-Sessions-August2023_0713.rev.1693339722.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2133" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3117-emory-henry-college-welcomes-largest-amount-of">Emory & Henry College Welcomes Largest Amount of Undergraduate Students to its Emory, Virginia Campus Since 2004</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> The population of Southwest Virginia increased by 1,105 residents this fall with the largest number of undergraduate Emory & Henry College students to attend classes on its Emory campus since 2004, representing a 2.1% increase over the previous year.</p><a href="/live/news/3117-emory-henry-college-welcomes-largest-amount-of" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>