By DAVID GROUT
Media Relations, Grace College and Seminary
Grace College and Seminary’s commencement ceremony celebrated the graduation of 466 students at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 9 at 9 a.m.
Held at the Ronald and Barbara Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, the ceremony included an invocation by Rev. Jeffrey A. Patton, lead pastor at the Grace Brethren Church in Norwalk, Calif.; an institutional welcome by William J. Katip, president at Grace College; and a benediction by John F. Carini, a physician in Lancaster, Pa. A brass ensemble, directed by Eric Criss, performed at the commencement services, as well as the Lancer Chorus, directed by Thomas Hall.
This year, Grace asked the senior class to select a faculty member to appear as a special guest speaker during the commencement ceremonies. The students selected Dr. Roger Stichter, accounting and finance professor at Grace. Dr. Paulette Sauders, the senior most faculty member, carried the ceremonial mace, which is a great honor and is traditionally borne by someone who has been singled out for tribute. During the ceremony, Grace also honored Sauders for 50 years of service at Grace as a professor of English and journalism.
With its new “Measure of Grace” initiative, underway this year, Grace is working to keep its undergraduate degrees affordable and incentivize student persistence and completion. Effective this coming fall, Grace will reduce the cost of tuition by nine percent for traditional students on the main campus. In addition, once a student enrolls, his or her tuition will never be raised; instead, each consecutive year a student attends Grace, he or she will receive an additional $500 off tuition. This can amount to an additional $3,000 savings. This is part of Grace’s continuing commitment to pursuing excellence and affordability for more and more students.
Grace College and Seminary’s graduating class of 2015 consisted of 466 graduates:
- Fifthy-three received associate degrees from either the Weber school, the Prison Extension program, or the Nursing program through Bethel.
- Fourty-seven received graduate degrees, including 34 who received graduate degrees from the School of Adult and Community Education.
- Thirty-two received seminary degrees.
This year included many first time achievements for Grace College, as well:
- First associate of arts in Biblical studies in Detroit
- First master of science in athletic administration
- First bachelor of arts in pPhotography
- First bachelor of science in applied physics (with mechanical engineering management from Trine)
- First bachelor of science in sport marketing
- First bachelor of science in Bible translation
- First master of arts in ministry studies with concentration in women’s leadership studies
- First doctorate of intercultural studies
The class was comprised of students from 27 states and 13 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Macao, Mexico, Serbia, South Korea, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Zambia.
A total of 181 Baccalaureate degree recipients earned graduation honors and wore gold cords at commencement.
- Twenty-one achieved summa cum laude honors
- Fourty-three achieved magna cum laude honors
- Thirty-nine achieved cum laude honors
- Seventy-eight earned honors in the School of Adult and Community Education, Graduate Division and Seminary Division
This year 12 students were selected to be inducted into Sigma Beta Delta, the International Honor Society in Business, Management and Administration where the top 20 percent of School of Business graduates are recognized. Each inductee must retain a GPA of 3.7949 or better.
This year’s inductees were Daniel Moore, Sarah Grube, Kelsey Christner, Andrew LaGioia, Christina LeBlanc, Arniel Sia, Lynnae Haan, Cody Young, Mitchell Graff, Krista Acksel, Shane Bradley, and Rachael Bellinghausen. The inductees wore green stoles at the commencement ceremony.
Grace College and Seminary is an evangelical Christian community of higher education that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and applies biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence, and preparing for service. Grace College also offers flexible online graduate degrees, on-campus and online degree completion programs, and highly affordable, easily accessible degree programs in Detroit and Indianapolis. The 180-acre main campus is located in the historic resort town of Winona Lake, near Warsaw, Ind.