Congratulations to the Class of 2010
For the first time since 1999, Geneva College′s undergraduate commencement ceremony was held outside. Temperatures were on the chilly side as faculty and graduates processed onto the turf of Reeves Field, but the sun was bright and the skies clear.
The ceremony was held on Monday, May 10, and a total of 264 students received their diplomas. They were preceded by 109 graduate and 114 Adult Degree Completion Program students who graduated during the adult and continuing education ceremony on Friday, May 7. Off-campus ceremonies were held for graduates of Geneva′s partner programs: the Center for Urban Biblical Ministry (CUBM) in Pittsburgh and the Center for Urban Theological Studies (CUTS) in Philadelphia.
Dr. Terry Thomas, professor of Biblical studies and director of the student ministries program, addressed the graduates. Many of the graduates had taken Thomas′ Foundations of Christian Thought class, so he is a well-known and well-loved figure on campus.
"Sure, college is about information and developing competencies and getting degrees, but at another level it′s about identity, it′s about commitment, it′s about devotion ... We're trying to teach you what it means to be a Christian," he said.
He told students that in order to be successful - as Christians and in every pursuit they engage in - they have to be able to go through a three-phase process. It begins with knowing the fundamental truths, and then it requires us to practice those truths over and over again until they become second nature. And as we practice those truths, we gain a kind of hope about the future - a hope that motivates, encourages and moves us forward into that future.
"It′s not about a confidence that′s in us - it′s a confidence that′s in someone much bigger than us," Thomas said. "It′s a confidence in who God is. God the Father has reconciled this good but fallen creation through the blood of His Son, and now He′s transforming it into the Kingdom of God by the power of His Holy Spirit, and He′s invited us to participate in that reformation, in that reconciliation, in those acts of redemption."
Before the graduates were called to receive their degrees, Provost Ken Carson spoke to those who were missing loved ones and shared a special message for one family in particular. Business major Wilfred Mutale is from Zambia, and his ready smile and passion for Christ have endeared him both to his classmates and to the entire campus community. His father passed away many years ago, and his mother was unable to obtain the necessary travel documents to travel to the U.S. for graduation.
"Grace Mwalula would very, very much like to be here today," Carson told the graduating class. "She has not seen her son in person in four years. She will, however, get the video. So I want to do two things."
Carson asked Wilfred to stand up from amidst the crowd of robed graduates and wave to the camera. Then he invited all the graduates to stand, wave and repeat the following:
"Hi, Grace. Wish you were here. We love your son. May God bless you."
To hear the commencement message, click here.
To view photos from commencement, click here.