An Exceptional Class of 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Theological Studies Graduates 2015“Convocation is a time to celebrate!” With this announcement, President Susan Schultz Huxman welcomed a record number of guests sharing the day with 165 graduating students.

“We are committed to challenging mind and spirit while we celebrate the core value of community building inside and outside the classroom,” she continued. “Grebel prepares our students to open their eyes wide, to see in new ways that extend and enrich their educational experience.”

The 2015 Conrad Grebel convocation ceremony shifted to a larger venue this year to accommodate all the friends and family members of our graduating students. This ceremony celebrates the achievements of all students who have lived at, associated with, or studied at Conrad Grebel. Degrees are conferred conjointly on the Master of Theological Studies students with the University of Waterloo.

Grebel was delighted to welcome Canadian Mennonite University’s president, Cheryl Pauls, as the keynote speaker. Reflecting on being “somewhere in the middle,” Cheryl addressed the fact that we are always in between places. Convocation is “a marker standing for what’s gone on before and speaking into what goes on ahead.”

“We’re always somewhere in the middle....somewhere between joy and sorrow, learning to love more deeply and release more generously, searching for clear paths amidst a world that at once needs more of this and a whole lot less of that.”

“To be somewhere in the middle is not akin to being at the centre of it all. Instead, it’s to have an ear and a heart perched in the jagged margins and to walk on with hope and humility when God troubled the waters – sometimes with grace, other times with awkward, paltry steps.”
“This middle place,” continued Cheryl, “is where Conrad Grebel is entrusted to seek wisdom, nurture faith, and pursue justice and peace in service to church and society. And this mission is embedded in the muscle of your habits, your gait, your friendships, and your desires.”

As a musician, Cheryl chose to play a fugue to illustrate her address. “Music consists firstly in the practice of gestures of grace – embrace and release, expansion and closure, beginning and ending – and secondly of living into the middle as form takes on expression,” she said.

Alvis PettkerAs a representative of the graduate classes in Peace and Conflict Studies and Theological Studies, TS student Alvis Pettker reflected on his experience at Conrad Grebel, pronouncing it as exceptional. “I would use this word to describe the kind of people Conrad Grebel’s graduate programs bring together,” he explained. “Conrad Grebel, with its exceptional faculty and staff, has called us together from all over the world for the purpose of forming us into exceptional people, into permanently incongruous and incompatible people who live in the world as it is, but with the strength of mind and conviction to see the world and people for what they could be and to always, ceaselessly strive for what is good, and just, and right.”

“If there is one irrevocable truth,” Alvis continued, “every conversation, every discussion, every disagreement, every meal we have shared together, every time we have laughed together and cried together has made abundantly clear it is that this graduating class is filled with nothing but exceptional people. I implore you, I entreat you, and I challenge you to continue to be the salt of the earth. To never settle for being excellent, when being exceptional is what it takes to truly change the world.”

  1. 2018 (4)
    1. April (1)
    2. March (2)
    3. February (1)
  2. 2017 (5)
    1. September (1)
    2. July (1)
    3. April (2)
    4. February (1)
  3. 2016 (2)
  4. 2015 (5)
  5. 2014 (1)