TWU celebrates 53rd graduating class
On Saturday, April 25, Trinity Western University celebrated its 53rd Commencement ceremony, with 475 graduates joining the University’s distinguished alumni community.
In the first of the day’s three ceremonies, President Bob Kuhn conferred a Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, on Nicholas Wolterstorff, Ph. D. Wolterstorff addressed the graduating class with a compelling oration entitled, You Need Two Eyes.
“Graduates of Trinity Western, in whatever walk of life you find yourself, you will need two eyes,” said Wolterstorff, who spoke at all three ceremonies. “Whatever your walk, you will need knowledge and competence. But also whatever your walk, you will need compassion. For you will be touching the lives of human beings, creatures with hearts like yours—hearts that suffer and rejoice, kinfolk, creatures whose differences from you fade away before the fact that the Creator of the universe and Restorer of all that is fallen is mirrored in them, and in you.”
Three graduates, one for each of the three graduation services, were named Valedictorian: Jordan Schroeder, Kate Jones, and Jennifer Newman.
“During your education here at Trinity Western University, I hope you have come closer to this idea that unlocks a paradox in human nature—where we act for others when we should logically be acting for ourselves,” said Schroeder in the 9:30 a.m. service. “If you have found it, hold on to it and share it with others. If you have not found it, search for it with all your might, because there is nothing more important in life for transforming not only those around us, but ourselves as well.”
Each year, members of the graduating class nominate individuals whom they believe are worthy of recognition for their outstanding contributions to the campus in terms of testimony and overall impact to the spirit and well being of the University. Faculty, staff, and third- and fourth-year students then vote to determine the final recipients—one male and one female—of the TWU Citizenship Award. On behalf of the University, Associate Provost Sheldon Loeppky presented Hannah Marazzi and Peter Woekel with their awards.
At the 6:30 p.m. service, Jennifer Newman encouraged the graduating class to grow into, rather than grow out of, a child-like of mind and spirit. “Friends, may we never forget that Jesus loves child-like freshness,” she said. “It is what he came to free us into. It is what breeds joy, permitting us to fearlessly follow him into the unexpected. To believe that Jesus meant the words he spoke in John 14:12 when he said, “whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do.” Truly, the daily choice to live fresh at his feet is what connects us to the Father, allowing him to cultivate greatness in us.”
On Friday April 24, the University held its final Chapel celebration of the year, the Baccalaureate service. The hour-long service provided the opportunity for the TWU community to give thanks for another academic year, and to celebrate the Class of 2015 through testimony and song. At the end of the celebration, Faculty members and staff formed a circle around the graduates and prayed for them.