More than 900 graduates participated in the college’s 95th annual Commencement ceremony, held in late May in Van Noord Arena on Calvin’s campus. The graduates represented more than 60 majors within the arts and humanities, social and natural sciences, and professional programs.
This year’s class joins the 62,000 Calvin alums working and serving around the corner and across the globe.
Graduate Brianna Marshall, a geology major from Sacramento, Calif., reflected, “Calvin made me think more deeply about the world and to realize that all aspects of life are important to God, not just the explicitly religious ones. I learned through my courses and experiences that God wants us to be passionate about bringing reconciliation and justice to every part of creation.”
“I remember the first time my adviser told me to apply to present my research at a conference—it seemed so impossible, but with his encouragement it became reality several times over,” said Maria Cupery, a linguistics major from Istanbul, Turkey, who was awarded the prestigious Lynn Fellowship at Purdue University.
At the ceremony, student senate president Jona Eigege addressed the class with “How (Not) to Change the World.” “This past semester I took Chemistry 101,” he said. “…I really believe that what God calls us to be in His work of renewing the world is catalysts. We are catalysts of the Kingdom.
“What’s interesting about catalysts is that they are never interested in product; they’re all about reactants,” he said. “If we truly want to be agents of renewal in God’s world, we need to be about the process. This truth is evident when we make the world our lab and examine it through the lens of history.”
Commencement speaker Mark Labberton, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, then challenged the graduates to “go and be finite.” “Your future is not about the major arcs of your life; it will be about the increments of your life,” he said. “Life is lived one day at a time.
“Do you want to be a great scientist? Then be at the lab every day. Do you want to be a writer? Then write every day. If you want to be an artist, then paint and sculpt, and it will all come down to what you do on any one day,” he said. “For it’s in that focus of particularity that we discover some of the greatest riches of imagination and heart and mind that God has given us. To discover the deep richness of wonder, of worship, of discovery, of innovation—these are all great things—we do them all just a day at time.”