Opening convocation held to start the 2012 Tabor academic year

August 28, 2012

Categories: General News

As has become tradition, Tabor College officially recognized the beginning of the school year with an Academic Convocation. In full academic regalia, Tabor College faculty filed into Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren church for the 2012 service. New and returning Tabor students were officially welcomed by President Jules Glanzer, who took a moment to explain the significance of the dress, and its implied meaning for the faculty and students.

“Academic regalia are symbolic of academic excellence. It is something we want for Tabor and for each of the students as well. We are giving our lives to providing each student with an excellent education teaching habits of the mind, life skills, and character formation. Our commitment is to Christ and to the students.” Glanzer also introduced the Presidential Leadership Scholars Dean’s scholars to the student body.

Michael Klaassen, student body president opened the service by offering the invocation. Multicultural Student Union President McKenzie Potter read the scripture verse, which was Luke 9:28-36. Keynote address for the convocation was provided by Dr. Christopher Dick, Associate Professor of English. His presentation, “Rethinking Education Metaphors: Business Transaction vs. Life Transformation” posed a challenge to the students and the faculty, to seriously consider the challenges of the educational process and the eventual end result, and called upon the literary device of metaphor to illustrate his point. He encouraged students to look beyond the goal of receiving a Tabor education – but to be literally transformed in the process.

“The hope of the founders, and the hope that remains today, is that you will be transformed while at Tabor. That you will not be the same person after your time here is finished. You should be a different person when you leave Tabor—whether it’s a semester, a year or four years,” Dick explained.

He asked the students to think beyond the traditional options that are available to students after graduation – and think in ways that may make a significant difference in the world, such as choosing to consider a two-year voluntary service assignment or turning down a lucrative job in an urban area to return to a small, rural community to help breathe life back into the area.

“The world, I would suggest, wants you to see education as simply transactional. My prayer is that we would all—students, faculty, staff, and administration—instead recommit ourselves to a radical notion of learning—a vision established over a hundred years ago but still very powerful today—a vision that sees education as truly transformational.”