The largest graduating class in Tabor College history received degrees Saturday, May 18, during commencement ceremonies at Joel H. Wiens Stadium.
Of the 194 degrees conferred, 127 were bachelor of arts, 11 master of business administration, 13 bachelor of science, 42 bachelor of science in nursing and one associate of arts degrees.
The program opened with an invocation by Anna Reid, representing the School of Adult and Graduate Studies.
Michael Klaassen spoke as the representative of Hillsboro campus graduates, while Leilani Schenkel spoke on behalf of the graduates from the Wichita campus. Tynan Honn, president of the senior class, presented the graduating class response.
President Jules Glanzer presented the Professor Fran Jabara Leadership Award to Becky Steketee and Michael Klaassen, both of Hillsboro. They each received a cash award of $1,000 and plaque in honor of their leadership skills demonstrated as students, and for their potential leadership capabilities.
Richard Kyle, longtime professor history and religion who is retiring after 41 years on the faculty, presented the keynote address titled, “It’s the beginning, not the end.”
Kyle, also a prolific author and scholar, who is a favorite with students, spoke with typical wit and wisdom.
“In a few minutes you will be college graduates, and whether you realize it or not you will have had a leg up on such famous college dropouts as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Ellison,” he said.
“You will have an advantage over many people in the work force, so take advantage of it. Yes, the tassel will be worth the hassle.”
Refering to the college’s mission “to prepare people for a life of learning, work and service for Christ and his kingdom,” Kyle said, “Commence means to begin, not to end. Thus this commencement marks the beginning of many aspects of your life…. It is my hope and prayer that you will build on this foundation.
He challenged the graduates to “keep on learning, keep growing spiritually and keep thinking globally.”
Kyle closed with the words of Arie Pencovici: “Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you’ll make a difference.”
Glanzer presented the diplomas to the graduates. The Tabor College Alumni Association, represented by Allen Hiebert, and Marlene Fast, director of alumni and parent relations, presented graduates with a Bible as they exited the stage.