Friday, May 17, 2019

Commencement was beautifully conducted yesterday. The service, sermons, and music were fantastic in the Immanuel Chapel. It was enjoyable to witness the excitement of our graduating students with their families and friends. With tireless preparations devoted to this annual event, there are many to thank.

The lead department for commencement activities is the office of Academic Affairs and Student Life. Our deepest gratitude goes to AASL especially the Rev. Melody Knowles, the Rev. James Mathes, Monica Sloan, Wendy Bermudez, Derek Greten-Harrison, Rachel Holm, The Rev. Ross Kane, Taylor Mather, Mara Sherman, the Rev. Joseph Thompson, and many staff and faculty members. The organizational skill was superb.

It was a momentous and vibrant day in the Immanuel Chapel. Our speaker, the Rev. Mrs. Fleming Rutledge, gave a brilliant speech about the power of vocation. Altogether the service was magnificent! To the Rev. Shawn Strout, the Rev. Jonathan D. Musser, Ben Hutchins, Stephen Crippon, Carey Connors, David Roddrick, and Marjorie Baker, we thank you for your leadership.

Thank you to the Hospitality team for calmly handling many guests on campus. Special thanks to Jeffri Harre who is the Director of Hospitality and Operations and now a graduate with Master of Arts, cum laude. Well done. Thank you to Vannessa McCormick, Teresa Canales, Santino Dut, Christina Hurtado, Taryn Habberley, Margaret Messenger, and Ana Porillo for your hard work.

Meriwether Godsey is another essential part of this campus. Amid construction, you continue to amaze us with your team effort and delicious food. Thank you to Chris Blain, Andrew Gilmartin, Carl Tardy, John Clark, Ana Parada-Saravia, Milton Burgess, Lee Valerio, Sheena Beth Brown, Joy Maynard, Treana Curry, Mary “Star” Goodwin, Nick Pappas, Quantina Edwards, and the service staff.

Thank you to Elizabeth Panox-Leach, Curtis Prather, Reggie Gravina along with contractors for making it possible to livestream the event. Documenting this event gives the opportunity for family and friends around the world to be a part of this celebration.

The office of Facilities, under the direction of David Mutscheller, is also greatly appreciated. From setting the chairs in Immanuel Chapel to habdling security, it was a job well done. We thank Stuart Dahlinger, John Erbe, Fritz Friton, Victor Hurtado, Roberto Johnson, Timothy Lawthorn, Tom Leake, Mohamed Mohamed, Jose’ Reyes, Juan Rivera, Ronnie Saunders, Steven Slominski, and Griffin Warder.

Parking on campus can be a challenge but thanks to our Parking Committee this operation was effortless. Thanks Chip Russel, Stephen Crippen, Gwynn Crighton, Curt Cowan, Jack Cotting, Paul Bennet, Meg Goldstein, and Sam Sheridan. Other student led committees are the Gowns and Marshall Committee. We thank Margaret Winn, Josh Barrett, Colleen Schieflbein, Amanda Bourne, and many others.

The campus was filled with smiles and laughter at commencement yesterday. The celebration of community and faith was truly moving. There were many more students, staff, and faculty members that volunteered their time to support this event. On behalf of the seminary, we thank you for your dedication.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President
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