The 2009 graduates of the Hoverter Course.
“My brain was fuzzy from chemotherapy,” explained Linda Porter about why she pursued the opportunity to participate in Messiah College’s Hoverter Course. “And, because of the Course, my curiosity was sparked, my perspectives loosened, and I was changed in many ways.”
Porter was one of 11 students whose life was positively impacted by the 25-week Hoverter Course, an intensive humanities program sponsored by the College’s Center for Public Humanities and made possible by the generous support of the Hoverter Foundation.
Course graduates earned three Messiah College credits for successfully completing classes taught by Messiah College faculty in writing, communication, critical/ethical thinking, creative arts, and history/civics.
On March 31, the College celebrated graduation with the participants and their families in the Hardwood Lounge of the International House in downtown Harrisburg. The nearby Harrisburg Institute then hosted a reception in the classroom where the students had been completing their courses for the past seven months. Student projects hung around the room, displaying what they created for a creative arts assignment.
“The Hoverter Course helped me see the potential of continuing my education,” said Heidi Harnish, echoing a sentiment that many graduates shared during a time for giving testimonies about the impact of the Course on individual lives.
“I had lacked the confidence to pursue my education, but this course has opened doors for me,” reflected Michael Grant. “What a blessing and learning experience!”
As the graduates expressed their gratitude to the faculty, their fellow classmates, and their families, it was clear that the 110 hours of instruction they had completed had done more than simply increase their knowledge.
Messiah’s Provost, Randall Basinger, tells the graduates how their stories have inspired the administrators of the Hoverter Course and Messiah College.
“I can look forward to a new beginning that I never thought possible,” said Dianne DeRosa. “I have learned that I am capable. I am creative. And, I’m ready to start a new chapter in my life.”
Messiah College has been administering the Hoverter Course for three years. The first two years, classes were held in rural Perry County. In 2008, the program was moved to the College’s downtown Harrisburg Institute facility.
The Hoverter Course is designed for educationally or economically disadvantaged adults with a high school diploma or GED whose circumstances have prevented them from considering a college education. In addition to free instruction, Messiah provides participants with books and instructional materials as well as transportation and child care, as needed.
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