Tabor opens fall session with academic convocation

The annual academic convocation, held Aug. 27, marked the official start of a new school year for Tabor College.

Like past years, the convocation began with students watching their professors file into the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church sanctuary wearing traditional academic regalia.

In his welcome to new and returning students, President Jules Glanzer said the gowns worn by faculty are ?a symbol of academic excellence,? which supports Tabor?s vision ?to be the college of choice for students who seek life-transforming, academically excellent, globally relevant, and decidedly Christian education.?

Del Gray, associate professor of biblical and religious studies, delivered the keynote address, titled, ?The Sharp End of the Rope: The Role of Risk in a Christian Liberal Arts Education,? which he based on Mark 8:34-35.

Gray urged students and faculty, as an academic community, ?to approach education with an openness and vulnerability to ideas that can be threatening to who we are and how we see ourselves, to take new ideas seriously and see them as avenues for better understanding, even when it is challenging to our core identity.?

Taking risks, he said, is ?a vital component of a Christian liberal arts education.?

As followers of Jesus, taking the risk to ask questions may be more natural ?as we deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus,? Gray said. ?True transformation comes as we allow ourselves to become more like Christ through accepting risky truths that change us.?

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