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Grace College to Honor Graduates in Commencement Ceremony May 13

Monday, May 1, 2017

Grace College & Seminary’s annual commencement ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 13, at 9 a.m. in the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, 610 Wooster Rd., Winona Lake. Commencement will honor 561 graduates, including some August and December graduates.

“We’re very proud of our students for reaching this important academic juncture,” said Dr. Bill Katip, president of Grace College & Seminary. “We are confident that they will leave Grace well-equipped to serve successfully wherever God takes them.  We hope this ceremony provides a sense of closure for their time here as well as great expectation for the future.”

Each year, Grace’s senior class elects a faculty member to deliver the commencement address. This year, Dr. Joe Graham, associate professor of behavioral sciences, was chosen.  “Dr. Graham is an exciting and innovative teacher who is well-loved by students and faculty colleagues alike,” said Dr. John Lillis, provost of Grace College.  “We are anticipating a unique and challenging message for our graduates this year.”

Jonah K. Pettet, representative of the undergraduate student body, will give the student greeting, while Nicholas A. Stanton, representing the seminary and graduate student body, will give the family recognition.

A special presentation will take place to honor Dr. James Custer, teaching pastor and senior pastor emeritus at Grace Polaris Church in Westerville, Ohio.  An alumnus of Grace College & Seminary, Custer has served for 17 years on the Grace College & Seminary board of trustees and has been named Trustee Emeritus.  Dr. Katip will recognize Dr. Custer’s 50 years of ministry and service during the commencement ceremony.

The commencement invocation will be given by Rev. Ricardo Murillo, pastor at University Heights Baptist Church in Whiteland, Ind., and Rev. Virgil W. Wesco, pastor at Fellowship Baptist Church in South Bend, Ind., will offer the benediction.  Martin Becker and Walter Brath will lead the musical selections, and Dr. Katip will confer the degrees.

“As we look back on the 2016-17 school year, we have much to be grateful for,” said Dr. Katip.  “In the fall, we celebrated another year of record student enrollment and began our new worship arts program.  Through the year, we announced several new partnerships with community businesses and like-minded schools.  The spring was perhaps most exciting of all with the announcement of our comprehensive Aspire Campaign and the groundbreaking of the Dr. Dane A. Miller Science Complex.”

Next year promises to be equally exciting, he said.

“This summer we will prepare to welcome new agribusiness students, chemistry majors and start a BSN program.  Much is happening at Grace College and we are most grateful for our great students and alumni who inspire us to keep reaching higher,” Katip concluded.

For questions or more information about commencement, please call the Grace College Registrar’s Office at 574-372-5100, ext. 6414 or email

Tagged With: 2017 Archives, Academics, Career Preparation, Christian College, Degrees, Events, Majors