TWU celebrates 52nd graduating class

On Saturday, April 26, Trinity Western University held its 52nd Commencement Celebration—the first at which newly-appointed President Bob Kuhn presided.

“All of you bear your family name,” Kuhn said to the graduating class. “And, as of today, you will bear the name ‘Trinity Western University graduate.’ My prayer is that God will enable each of us here to carry the names of ‘Christian,’ our family name, and Trinity Western, not with duplicity but with distinction.”

In the first of the day’s three ceremonies, Kuhn, who received an Honorary Doctorate degree from TWU in 2012, conferred a Doctor of Laws, , on World Vision International President Kevin Jenkins.

Jenkins, who spoke at both the 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. services and whose three children are all TWU alumni, challenged graduates to continue to foster community after graduation. “To truly know others, and be known, is one of life’s most precious gifts,” he said. “I urge you to be purposeful about authentic Christian community now, and for the rest of your life.”

Valedictorians Travis Vandenberg, Kevin Deen and Kayla Ortlieb addressed their fellow graduates at their respective services. “Stepping out our door is a dangerous business,” said Ortlieb, who earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. “To have no certainty or control is frightening. We all want to be successful and happy, and we often want it on our own terms, pain free. But it is by relinquishing control and moving forward in faith to face trials and risk head-on that we grow and achieve something far greater than success: adventure and fulfillment.”

At the 6:00 p.m. service, long-time TWU Professor of English Lynn Szabo, shared a message entitled The Wildest and Wisest Things I Know. “Today is about you,” she said to the graduates. “It’s about the stories you have been part of here at Trinity Western University, the stories you have told and studied, it’s about whom you have loved and now will say goodbye to and it’s about the stories that you will be part of when you leave and come back later to tell to us. Don’t forget us, please. We will be calling to you in our hearts when you cross the stage and ever after as you set off with this day’s words in your ears: ‘Tell us, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’”

On Friday evening, the graduating class was celebrated in the University’s Baccalaureate service. As part of the traditional service, Faculty members formed a circle around the graduates and prayed for them.

In all, 431 graduands joined the ranks of Trinity Western University’s distinguished alumni community.

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