May 20, 2021 | Matt Kucinski

The latin seal for Calvin University layered on top of a photo with grads and a ballpark image.

On Saturday, May 22, 2021, history will be made at LMCU Ballpark in Grand Rapids, Michigan during the first outing in the day’s doubleheader.

After a 364-day delay, Calvin University’s Class of 2020 will return home for their formal Commencement ceremony. The event, which begins at 11 a.m., will be one for the history books. It marks the first time degrees with the name Calvin “University” on them will be conferred, it is the 100th conferring of baccalaureate degrees in Calvin’s 145-year history, and it also marks the first time students in the Calvin Prison Initiative will be awarded bachelor’s degrees.

“I am beyond excited to celebrate this significant moment with our students and their families, both those that are joining us in-person and those who are tuning in via livestream,” said Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin University. “It’s been a long time coming, but we are finally able to gather back together for this historic and momentous occasion.

“To be celebrating the first cohort receiving their bachelor’s degrees in the Calvin Prison Initiative program is incredible. Their Calvin education has shaped them and they are now equipped to shape both their community inside Handlon Correctional Facility and the communities they will serve in the future.”

The second half of the Commencement doubleheader will begin at 3:30 p.m. and celebrate the Class of 2021—a class which, like the Class of 2020, finished their final year of college during a pandemic.

“Our graduates have learned to think deeply, act justly, and live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal during their four years here,” said Le Roy. “But these two classes have received an unparalleled depth of learning in how to persevere and adapt through challenging times, and that's cultivated creativity, innovation, and resilience that will serve them well as they pursue where God is leading them.”

In total, more than 1,600 graduates will either participate in-person or online between the two ceremonies. Whitworth University president emeritus Bill Robinson will deliver both Commencement addresses.

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