Three-quarters of a century ago, a young student named Billy Graham from Charlotte, North Carolina, walked across the stage to receive his degree from Florida Bible Institute outside Tampa.
Exactly 75 years later, Mr. Graham’s grandson, Will Graham, stood before the 2015 graduating class of the same institution (now called Trinity College) and delivered the commencement address to a new generation.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Will, who spoke at the college’s graduation ceremony on May 9. “I was very impressed with the president and trustees, and enjoyed meeting many of the students.”
Will recalled that when he graduated from Liberty University in 1997, his grandfather delivered the commencement address. In speaking to the Trinity graduates, Will decided to focus on the same subject his grandfather highlighted for him and his classmates: time.
“We’re only given so much time on this earth,” Will said after the fact. “The brevity of life and the quickness of time—we need to use it wisely and make the most of it.
“So I kept my message short!” he joked.
As part of the weekend’s commencement festivities, Will was awarded an honorary doctorate from Trinity College, as well as the school’s Macedonian Award for Christian character and commitment to evangelism.
Will has previously received an honorary doctorate from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, Georgia.
As an associate evangelist and a vice president at Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Will Graham is following in the footsteps of both his grandfather and his father, Franklin Graham, by taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.