Tabor College Celebrates 104th Annual Commencement

May 19, 2014

Categories: General News

Tabor College hosted its 104th annual commencement ceremony at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, May 17 at Joel H. Wiens Stadium in Hillsboro, Kan.

There were 137 graduates from the Hillsboro campus, the largest graduating class in history.

Tabor College in Wichita had 37 undergraduates and four graduates (masters degrees), for a total of 41.

Tabor College graduates represented six countries and 15 states across the United States, including Kansas.

Dr. Jules Glanzer presented two students with the Professor Fran Jabara Leadership Award for $1,000 each. Senior Terach Antoine and senior Hannah Vogt were the two recipients of this award.

Frank Johnson, vice president for academics at Tabor College, said this day is the culmination of hours, days, months and years of hard work inside and outside the classroom.

“Commencement is unquestionably the highlight of the academic calendar,” Johnson said. “We are so proud of each student who has reached this milestone. I look forward to hearing the many stories of how these graduates will enrich the communities where they are soon to reside, work and worship.”

Dr. Jarrod Goentzel, an alumnus from Tabor College and director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Humanitarian Response Lab, gave the commencement address.

“It is an honor to be asked to give this address and it’s a privilege to return to a place that was so formative in my life.”

Goentzel entitled his speech, “What will be your profession?” and admitted to the audience that he asked that same question at his own graduation from Tabor College in 1990.

He encouraged students to trust the voice inside of them when making decisions about their career path.

“Follow the little nudge to discover your passion,” Goentzel said. “Finding the right profession is rarely about a big revelation. It’s not the result of a test in the career office, although that can be helpful. It often comes in little nudges that you need to follow in order to discover your passion. Those experiences build up throughout your career as it evolves and they shape your choices.”

Goentzel closed his speech with encouragement for the graduates to care of those around them.

“The common denominator for everyone is how we invest in and how we cultivate our daily relationships. Even the most impactful businessman or aid worker, if he or she does not continually strive for healthy relationships in their daily interactions with family and colleagues, will diminish their quotient of success,” Goentzel added.

“This call to cultivating daily relationships, also applies to your parents, especially now as you take flight even further from the nest. Call them or text them if you do, often. Your family and colleagues travel with you on your professional journey so take care of them. Going forward you will face a balance, wanting to strive for it individually and wanting to take time for your family.”

Goentzel also told the graduates that they should find time to show love through their actions and not just through words.

“You will declare your faith through helping those who suffer and you will define your character through the relationships with your family and your colleagues. Today you may be worried about your career, you’re not alone.”

“Your occupation is one-third of the big picture. Success in life is more dependent on how you follow the example of the Good Samaritan in helping your neighbor and how you cultivate daily relationships at work and at home. And trust me, if you get those two-thirds right, then with the inspiration of those neighbors and the support of your family, the final third of your professional success will work out,” Goentzel closed.

An estimated 2,800 family, friends, alumni, faculty and staff attended the commencement ceremony.