The graduating class of 172 was one of the largest ever, including 105 candidates for graduation from the Hillsboro campus and 67 candidates from the Wichita campus and online programs.
The number of masters candidates was the largest in Tabor College history.
President Jules Glanzer welcomed the crowd, applauding the graduates for their hard work and commitment to Tabor throughout their education. He also recognized family and friends who supported and sacrificed for their students.
“Tabor’s graduation celebration is always a bittersweet experience for the faculty and staff,” Glanzer said. “We have had the honor and pleasure of getting to know these students, helping them expand their perspectives and pushing them to grow to their fullest potential.
“They have entrusted us with their future and now we send them into the world to use their skills and knowledge.”
Among other honors and recognitions, two graduates received a leadership award given to graduates of four-year private colleges in Kansas.
Jeremy Johnson and Amy Vaughn were awarded the Professor Fran Jabara Leadership Award. The award is given to seniors who have not only demonstrated leadership while at Tabor, but also their capacity for future leadership. The award recipients are nominated by faculty and staff.
“All of our students leave Tabor with the capacity for leadership in their field, but Jeremy and Amy have shown a special dedication to their work both in the classroom and out,” Glanzer said.
Representatives from the Hillsboro and Wichita campuses each addressed the group with their thoughts on the Tabor experience.
Allie Jost of Sheridan, Wyo., spoke to the class about the breadth of learning she received and how Tabor has prepared her for a career as an educator.
“In my experience here, I have learned much more than how to teach,” Jost said. “I have learned that what I do is not about me, but it is about glorifying God above all else.
“We were encouraged to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth by showing compassion, grace and service to our coworkers and students.”
Wichita was represented by Lee Waldron, who earned his master of arts degree in entrepreneurial ministry leadership. Waldron is originally from Shafter, Calif.
“We have been training and learning and studying and discerning and growing not so we can just go get a paycheck, but so that we can use these gifts to contribute to society and to God’s kingdom and we must believe that our contributions matter,” Waldron said.
Bryce Unruh, a 1991 Tabor College graduate, delivered the commencement address. Unruh went on to earn a master’s degree in mathematics from Colorado State University and works in aerospace engineering. He urged the class to explore the possibilities in front of them and not accept known limitations; instead, pursue what can only be imagined.
“Here is what I want you to take away: I am an explorer and you are an explorer,” Unruh said. “I would like to challenge each of you graduates to consider yourself an explorer in this universe. It is through exploration that you truly discover your place in the universe.”
In his closing remarks, Glanzer told the students, “Our graduates should be very proud of their accomplishments. I hope they take what they’ve learned at Tabor and apply it to all areas of life, sharing God’s love for His people wherever they are.
“I also hope they look back at their time at Tabor not only with fond memories, but with a sense of pride for their alma mater and the lasting impact it has made on their lives.”