Tabor graduates 130, Nikkel named ‘president emeritus’


President Emeritus Larry W. Nikkel presents the commencement address, ?A Planned Life, A Prepared Life,? to the 98th graduating class of Tabor College on May 24.

Carillon bells resounded for the 98th graduating class of Tabor College Saturday, May 24, as 130 students from the Hills?boro and Wichita campuses received diplomas at commencement exercises in the college gymnasium.

Eighty-seven students who attended classes at the Hillsboro campus received bachelor of arts degrees. Nineteen graduates from the School of Adult and Graduate Studies in Wichita received bachelor of science degrees, and 24 AGS students received bachelor of science degrees in nursing.

The commencement address, ?A Planned Life, A Prepared Life,? who given by former President Larry W. Nikkel, who had led the college for nine years prior to his retirement at the end of past calendar year.

Immediately following Nikkel?s speech, Tabor Board Chairman Lyndon Vix conferred upon him the title president emeritus. It was the first time the title has been bestowed in the 100-year history of the college.

In a highlight of the commencement ceremony, President Jules Glanzer presented the Professor Fran Jabara Leader?ship Award to seniors Jamie Yoder, Kingman, and Samuel Flaming, Weatherford, Okla.

Each received a cash award and a plaque in honor of leadership skills demonstrated not only during their time as Tabor College students, but for their future leadership potential.

After the awards, David Campbell, Wichita, representing the Hillsboro campus, presented the first of two graduate addresses. The second graduation address was presented by Kathleen Huhman, Colwich, representing the School of Adult and Graduate Studies in Wichita.

In his address to the graduates, Nikkel stressed that for Christians, developing a prepared life is more important than being overly concerned with a pre-planned life.

?The Apostle Paul seems to have been a good planner early in his life,? Nikkel said. ?He appears to have been a good student. He appears to have been promoted to a leadership training track at a young age. He was passionate about his work and approached it with single mindedness. He was competent and ambitious.

?The problem was that while Paul was planning for his own future, God was also at work planning his future, and those two plans went in very different directions.

?The point is that while it seems prudent and wise for us to be engaged in planning, we must always be aware, in the words of the Proverb, that, ?The mind of man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his path.??

Nikkel gave four suggestions to help graduates focus on God?s plan for them.

First, fully accept the notion that you are always in preparation for whatever is next.

?If we are to live our lives fully aware of ?being in preparation,? we will have to be fully aware of our living moment by moment,? he said. ?In the call of Jesus to his disciples, it seems clear that his was a call to the journey more than it was a call to a destination.?

Second, being faithful in small things becomes the ticket for being entrusted with greater things.

?Sloughing off today with the intention of being more serious, more disciplined tomorrow is just too wasteful,? he said. ?Furthermore, it robs us of one of the joys which await those who experience the deep satisfaction which comes from a job well done. We should be faithful in small things. Sweat the small stuff.?

Third, tests and trials are for your benefit and provide the feedback to you that you will need in order to know whether you are still growing and making progress.

?So, we need, in the words of the Apostle James, to count it all joy when trials come our way,? he said.

Four, what God calls you to he empowers you for.

?God will not take you to the threshold and not have you step over it,? he said. ?God will not call you to a task, only to abandon you to your own wisdom or strength. God will not embarrass himself by not following through on things he has promised.?

Nikkel concluded his address in a time of prayer for the graduates, a tradition he kept for nine years as president of the college. In his prayer, Nikkel asked the Lord to bless the graduates with a sense of urgency, patience, freedom, wisdom and courage.

After the graduates received their doplomas, Senior Class President Shane Miller, Hutchinson, presented the class response.

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