Nearly 900 students participated in Calvin College’s 94th annual Commencement ceremony, held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Van Noord Arena. The graduates represent 60 majors within the arts and humanities, social and natural sciences and professional programs.
According to the college’s most recent annual employment and graduate school report, 96 percent of Calvin College graduates are professionally employed or in graduate school within nine months of graduation.
This year seems to be no different. Students in this year’s class have found jobs around the corner and across the globe, doing mechanical engineering for GE Aviation in Grand Rapids, Michigan; working as a financial specialist for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Cincinnati, Ohio; and teaching English as a second language through the prestigious Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme in schools across Japan, to name a few.
And internships have served as a springboard for a number of Calvin students. Eighty-two percent of Calvin students report doing at least one internship while in college. For some students, like Ryan Struyk (Grand Rapids, Mich.), that internship directly led to another opportunity.
Struyk’s internship with ABC News in Washington, D.C., took him to New York City for a weekend. While he was there, he reached out to one of ABC’s pollsters.
“When I met [the pollster], I observed that he was willing to invest in me and he was an expert in his field. He recommended that I apply for his internship, and the rest is history.”
Struyk is interning at the New York polling center for the Washington Post and ABC News this summer. He’s excited to put his math skills to use in the world of journalism.
“I was worried going in [to my internship] because I’d only had one journalism internship, I had no TV experience and I’d taken two journalism classes. That was it. But the broader things I learned at Calvin—willingness to work hard, eagerness to learn, strong critical thinking skills—those things prepared me for [a journalistic] environment better than a minor in telecommunications ever could.”
This year’s class is widely divergent from Calvin’s first graduating class of just eight men. Claudia Beversluis, the college’s outgoing provost, delivered the Commencement address. Beversluis has served as provost since 2006. She began her tenure at Calvin in 1990.
Along with the ceremony at Van Noord Arena, a number of events took place during Commencement weekend, including the annual department of nursing pinning ceremony, the Commencement worship service, the Commencement celebration cookout and a reception for international students and their parents, to name a few.