More than 5,000 people gathered May 17 to celebrate the 72 graduate students and 662 undergraduate students receiving their diplomas at Messiah College’s 105th annual Commencement ceremony. In his Commencement address, Richard Mouw, former president of Fuller Theological Seminary, challenged the graduates, “When it’s all said and done, it’s all about Jesus. So my charge to you is simply this: Be faithful to Jesus.”
A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Donald and Anna Zook Alumni Merit Award to senior Hope Johnson. Johnson, an English major and Messiah’s first non-verbal, non-ambulatory graduate, was nominated for her “diligence, perseverance, fortitude and sheer determination” as an excellent writer and scholar. Johnson was lauded by English department chair Matthew Roth for her “hardworking big toe,” which, because of her cerebral palsy, she used to type her drama, memoir, fiction and literary analysis assignments.
Other recognitions included the presentation of the Dr. Robert and Marilyn Smith Awards for Outstanding Teaching and the Class of 2014 Senior Gift.
Provost Randy Basinger recognized Sharon Baker Putt, assistant professor of theology, and Richard Schaeffer ’83, professor of chemistry, as this year’s outstanding teachers, a recognition based on the nominations of senior students.
Julie Fenton, senior class president, presented President Kim Phipps with a $6,421 check for the expansion of the Grantham Community Garden to an acre-lot across the railroad tracks.
Congratulations, Class of 2014!
UPDATE 5/19: Enjoy this brief video recap of today’s ceremony. Watch the full-length video.
UPDATE 5/19: Baccalaureate photo gallery and Commencement photo gallery
UPDATE 5/21: Harrisburg Patriot-News photo gallery
See an album of photos on our Facebook page or peruse the fun content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #mcgrad14.