On Sunday, April 24, Goshen College will host their 118th Commencement ceremony. The 2016 class will graduate after spending four years on Goshen College’s grounds. The first event for the class of 2016 will be on Monday, April 18 when the students will celebrate the Graduate Dessert Reception at the College Mennonite Church Fellowship Hall.Following the dessert reception, the annual Commencement Weekend events will start on Saturday, April 23. During the course of the weekend, the academic departments will each have receptions with the students graduating out of the program. Families of graduates are invited to join and meet faculty and fellow students.
Following the reception, the students will have the senior class program in Sauder Concert Hall. It will be a free event, with an open invitation to everyone who wants to attend. There will be a variety of activities that represent the diversity and talents of the senior class.
The evening will finish out with the President´s Reception for graduates and families from 8:45 to 10:30 p.m. in the Music Center lobby and courtyard. It will be hosted by President James Brenneman and his wife, Terri Plank Brenneman.
On Sunday, the day will begin with a Baccalaureate worship service at Church-Chapel at 11 a.m., followed by the Commencement Brunch for graduates, families and friends, hosted by Kenneth Newbold, provost, at the Westlawn Dining Hall.
The final event will be the 118th commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. in the Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center. The speaker for this year’s ceremony will be Carrie Newcomer, a singer-songwriter who graduated from Goshen College in 1980. Since she graduated, she has recorded 15 solo albums.
Though born in Michigan, Newcomer grew up near Goshen and stayed in the state for college, attending Ball State, Goshen College and Purdue University. Her music has taken her all over the world, including touring throughout Europe and the States with Allison Krauss. Newcomer´s creativity also appeared on the Grammy-winning album of Nickel Creek, with her song “I Should’ve Known Better.”
Newcomer has participated in many charitable social justice activities worldwide. She served the role as cultural ambassador in the American Embassy of India in 2009 and 2011, where she participated in many different events. From there, she traveled to Kenya in 2012 by invitation of the Interfaith Hunger Initiative. Following this trip, she worked to empower women in the Middle East by visiting conflict resolution organizations dedicated to non-violence.
Newcomer has received numerous awards for her music and related charitable activities. Chicago’s WBEZ radio and The Chicago Tribune included Newcomer on their list of the Top 50 folk artists of the last 50 years. She made Boston’s WUMB radio station’s list of the Top Most Influential Artist of the past 25 years.
Folk Wax Magazine awarded her both Artist of the Year and Album of the year in 2003 and 2007, and the City of Bloomington’s Commission on the Status of Women named Newcomer 2003 Woman of the Year.
The full schedule of the commencement events can be found on the college website.