It’s eighteen days until commencement, and across campus, seniors are getting ready. For every graduation, a variety of things come together to make the weekend special.

This year, Goshen College will welcome former GC business professor Joyce Bontrager Lehman to speak at the commencement ceremony on April 27.

Bontrager Lehman, a 1965 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, taught accounting and business classes at GC for two years. Later, she worked for MEDA, Mennonite Economic Development Associates, providing financial consultation and training in over 20 different countries.

During her career, she worked for several different organizations focused on economic development, including the UN Capital Development fund, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and the MasterCard Foundation.

According to a Goshen College press release, Bontrager Lehman has been particularly interested in helping people in developing countries gain access to affordable financial services.

Her speech is titled “The Imperative of Providence” and will be delivered at the Commencement ceremony in the Roman Gingerich Rec-Fitness Center at 3 p.m. on April 27.

Recently, several seniors have been helping with a key part of the preparation for graduation—the class gift. For years, Goshen College seniors have marked the end of their stay on campus by collaborating to give a gift in some form. Some of these gifts come in a physical form that can be seen around campus. This year, the gift will be a monetary donation.

The class of 2014 can contribute in a variety of different ways. For instance, this week members of the graduating class could purchase a “Class of 2014” T-shirt designed by senior Emma Gerig. T-shirts have been available at several different events, including Monday’s convocation and after Goshen Monologues.

As well, GC seniors will host a bowling night on April 17 where seniors can get in free. Graduates who do not purchase a T-shirt can make a donation online, in the GC Online web portal. There are options for students to pledge all or part of their housing deposit for campus small group housing to the gift, as well.

This year, the senior class gift will be a financial contribution to three different organizations deemed worthy to receive the donation: Goshen Monologues, the Trackside Garden and the SST endowment.

Senior Isaac Fast, a member of the planning committee for the gift, said, “The work of the Monologues, the garden and the SST endowment make them deserving recipients of the donation.”

Martin Hofkamp, a senior, said what he thinks about their decision to donate to such projects. “These are projects that are really important, and as seniors, we want them to continue in the future.”

Commencement week events will include the Senior Dessert Celebration, held in the Church-Chapel Fellowship Hall on April 21; a series of department receptions held all day Saturday of that week; the Senior Show on Saturday night; and a reception for graduates and families held by President James Brenneman and his wife, Terri Brenneman.

On Sunday, April 27, the Baccalaureate worship service will be held at 11 a.m. in the Church-Chapel, and Commencement will take place at 3 p.m.