ESR Celebrates 2012 Baccalaureate and Commencement
This past weekend ESR celebrated the graduation of 20 students from the class of 2012. A group of 14 students received their Master of Divinity, three received an M.A., and another three will be December 2012 graduates.
During the Baccalaureate Dinner, faculty advisors took turns presenting personal tributes to each of the graduates. Following the dinner, those in attendance regrouped at the Stout Meetinghouse on Earlham’s campus for a Baccalaureate worship service prepared and led by the graduates. The theme for this year’s program was "pilgrimage," and many of the graduates took part in the service. Stephen Beals opened the program with a song he composed and the audience joined in the chorus as the faculty and graduates processed in. Another original composition was the poem “A Stretch of Road” written by graduate Sue Sutherland-Hanson, and read by student Linnea Stifler in Sue's absence. Jenny Caughman also performed playing the guitar and singing “Let Me Be Your Servant.”
This year the faculty speaker, chosen by the graduates, was Ministry of Writing professor Susan Yanos, who will be leaving ESR at the end of the term. She spoke on the topic “Of Pilgrims, Shrines, and Empty Tombs.” After a time of silent worship in the manner of Friends, the graduates and faculty encircled a table with candles lit individually by the graduates. Everyone joined in a responsive reading as a blessing to the graduates, followed by singing the hymn “Will you Come Follow Me.”
The weather cooperated on Saturday, May 5th and Earlham’s Commencement was held outdoors on Chase Stage in the heart of Earlham's campus. Two of ESR’s graduates contributed to the program: Jeffery Blair gave the invocation and Marilyn Sizer welcomed the audience on behalf of ESR. ESR Dean Jay Marshall read the names of each graduate, and Associate Dean, Tim Seid, and Clerk of the Faculty, Phil Baisley, hooded each one. The graduates crossed Chase Stage to receive their diplomas from Earlham’s new president, David Dawson.
Congratulations to all of our graduates!
By: Tim Seid