With gratitude to God for the new academic year, please join President Wiebe Boer and the Calvin community in celebrating Opening Convocation.


Live stream

Watch live on Friday, August 25 at 1:45 p.m. EST

Calvin University Opening Convocation




Sing Praise to the Lord, You People of Grace (Psalm 150), Leckebusch/Lim
The faculty processional is led by Matt Heun, PhD, professor of engineering, and recipient of Calvin’s 2023 Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching; and Scott Rush, PhD, professor of business, and 2023 Professor of the Year.


Wiebe Boer, PhD, president

President BoerWiebe Boer is the 12th president of Calvin University. He earned a doctorate and two master’s degrees from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree from Calvin, all in history. Boer, a 1997 alumnus, was inaugurated as president of Calvin University on October 26, 2022.

Boer brings a unique combination and depth of experience working across the private and social sectors in four countries on two continents over the past two decades.

He carries a deep sense of nurturing communities of welcome and flourishing in all he does. He has served professionally in managing investments and philanthropy, with his work taking place globally from Mauritania to Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to being called as president of the university, he was living in Lagos, Nigeria for 12 years, and serving as CEO of All On, an energy investment fund of Shell Global.

Boer, who was raised in Nigeria as the son of CRC missionaries, holds citizenship in the Netherlands, Canada, and the United States.


Let the Earth Be Glad (Psalm 96), Kimbrough

Let the earth be glad
Let the stars rejoice
Let the forests sing, let the ocean roar

Come and join their song
Come and lift your voice
The Lord our God is king

People of the earth
Lay your glory down
Come to him alone who can wear the crown

Come and find your place
Come and learn to sing
The Lord our God is king

Glory, glory, glory to the king
Glory, glory, all creation sings

Every nation sing
Every language shout
Bring your gifts with joy to the Savior’s house

No more ‘us and them’
No one gets left out
The Lord our God is king

Glory, glory, glory to the king
Glory, glory, all creation sings

All the earth at rest
Every creature blessed
For he comes with justice and righteousness

In the darkness, light
Every wrong made right
The Lord our God is king

Glory, glory, glory to the king
Glory, glory, all creation sings

Glory, glory, glory to the king
Glory, glory, all creation sings

Wendell Kimbrough
© 2020 Kimbrough, Wendell
CCLI License #400063


Noah Toly, PhD, provost

Noah TolyNoah Toly is the ninth provost or chief academic officer at Calvin University. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies and Spanish from Wheaton College in 1999. He went on to earn a masters in theology from Wheaton College and both a masters and doctorate of philosophy degree in urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware.

Prior to coming to Calvin, Toly served for 15 years on the faculty of Wheaton College, where he held appointments as the executive director of the Center for Urban Engagement and professor of urban studies and politics & international relations. He has also held appointments as a lecturer at the Free University of Berlin’s Center for Global Politics, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion, visiting scholar at Duke Divinity School, and associate fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.


Galatians 6:9, John 14:12–14
Taylor Sanborn ’25

9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

12Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
John 14:12–14 (NIV)


Wiebe Boer, PhD, president, and Noah Toly, PhD, provost


Mary Hulst, PhD, university pastor

We will be praying for each other this afternoon. When you are praying for others, extend a hand toward them in a gesture of blessing. When you are being prayed for, please hold your hands in front of you as a gesture of reception.

For these new students, Lord, we pray for courage. Bless them with a willingness to try new things, explore new subjects, and expand their worlds. Give them the freedom to fail, and then build up in them the resilience to try again.

For the students’ families and friends, Lord, we ask that you turn their hearts away from worry and toward gratitude, away from regret and toward contentment, away from holding on and toward letting go. Give them the courage to leave this campus today knowing that their children are in the palm of your hand. We are grateful for how you have used parents and step-parents, relatives and friends to shape these students, and we pray that you give them wisdom as they continue to invest in their students’ lives.

For the returning students, Lord, we pray that you empower them to be people of integrity: May the words they sing in worship be lived out in the classroom, playing field, rehearsal room, and residence halls. May the lives that they live and the choices that they make mark them as followers of Jesus. As they choose areas of focus for their studies, guide them to areas in which they can find you already at work.

For the faculty and staff, Lord, we pray for joy as they enter into a new academic year. May those who teach be empowered by your Holy Spirit to teach with boldness and compassion, with warmth and fairness, with justice and mercy. May those on our staff be satisfied with the work they have done this summer to prepare the campus for this fall. We pray that all employees of Calvin University will be blessed with a longing to serve those around them wisely and well, with patience toward those with whom they work, and with joy that pervades their lives at work and at home.

For all of us: May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord let the light of his countenance shine upon you and give you peace. Amen!


Calvin Alma Mater, Bruinooge (words), Grotenhuis (music)

Calvin, Calvin, sing we all to thee;
To Dear Alma Mater, we pledge fidelity.
Forever faithful to maroon and gold,
Thy name and honor we ever shall uphold!

Calvin, Calvin, God has been thy guide;
Dear Alma Mater, thy strength he shall provide;
Be loyal ever to the faith of old,

God’s name and honor we ever shall uphold!

Play the Calvin Alma Mater (on a loop)


Rejoice in All Your Works (Psalm 104), Kimbrough


Map and parking

The Calvin University Visitor Parking map provides a map of the campus and the many parking options available for this event.

NOTE: The circle drive south of the Venema Aquatic Center will also be open for those who need to drop off a guest.

Lunch and seating

An all-campus luncheon will be held on the Commons Lawn at 11:30 a.m. (rain locations: Commons Dining Hall and Knollcrest Dining Hall).

First year and transfer students will enter with their orientation groups before the event. Faculty (in academic regalia) will process in by department. All faculty, staff, emeriti, parents and upperclass students will sit in the lower level surrounding the first-year students who will be seated on the main floor of the arena.