Commencement is one of my favorite days of the year. I have grown to love each and every student who is graduating today. It has been an extraordinary privilege to be part of the hard work of God in these human lives as they are shaped into vehicles of grace for the world in which they are called to served. This Seminary is involved in holy work. Every faculty member knows that it is a privilege to be part of that work.
And this graduating class is great. Dr. James Farwell used the adjective "kind" to describe this class, when the Board voted the degrees. He added it is a "type of care that focuses on justice and inclusion". And in so many ways he is right. This is a great class: they will make a difference to the church.
Marking this moment is an enormous pressure on the staff of the Seminary. So I am pleased to announce that I am asking those departments which are able to close at 2pm this afternoon. I am grateful to those departments for whom this is difficult; you have work that doesn't enable such flexibility. And I hope those departments which are able to take advantage of this closure enjoy the shorter work day. And please understand I am deeply grateful for everything you are doing.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President