Tabor College brought its undergraduate class and master’s students together for the 113th Commencement. The Class of 2023, including 77 undergraduates on campus and online, and 29 from Graduate & Online were honored in the joint ceremony.
In the fall of 2018, Tabor instituted a tradition of “The Ascent” and “The Descent.” As freshmen, students ascend from the Centennial Plaza up the steps of the H.W. Lohrenz Administration Building to begin their years as scholars at Tabor.
Four years later, these same students descend the steps through the halls of learning and return to the Centennial Plaza before circling to the Richert Auditorium. It is where they symbolically are released into the world to go and be Christ-like servants and help make the world more as God intended it to be.
Twenty-six students were named Magna Cum Laude (3.70-3.849) or Summa Cum Laude (3.85-4.00). Nineteen of them earned the highest honors.
“We’re so proud of the dedication of these students and the work they did to complete their degree,” said President David Janzen, Ph.D. “We pray God’s blessings over these graduates and are honored to walk with them as alumni, fulfilling His calling in their lives.”
Natalie Ford, senior class president, spoke on behalf of the undergraduate class.
“When we came to Tabor, we did not understand the impact it would have on us in lifelong friendships and that it would bring us closer as brothers and sisters in Christ,” Ford said. “As the graduating class of 2023, we have been through a lot together, and we persevered to sit in these seats.”
Under the direction of Dr. Greg Zielke, the Tabor Concert Choir sang “I Will Sing” by Michael Engelhardt.
Chandelle Claassen, an M.Ed. graduate, gave the scripture reading of Philippians 4:1,4-9 (NIV).
The senior class requested that Professor Emerita Aleen Ratzlaff, Ph.D., give the Commencement Address. Ratzlaff’s speech was titled “Embracing the Vitamin Cs of Life,” signifying C words for students to reflect on as they graduate.
“Vitamins are vital for ongoing growth,” Ratzlaff said. “Our physical bodies need it to form blood vessels, muscle, and collagen in bones, and it’s also essential to our body’s healing process. So, like vitamins, I believe that connection, communication, and change to the heart are vital as you graduate and contribute to this world.”
Dr. Melinda Rangel, Prof. Amy Ratzlaff, and Dr. David Stevens performed the hoodings for master’s students. Rangel directs the leadership concentration, while Ratzlaff directs sports management. Stevens is the M.Ed. director.
Prof. Derek Hamm, associate professor of graphic design and faculty chair, bestowed honor cords, while President David Janzen, Ph.D., presented diplomas.
Seth Hilton spoke on behalf of the Graduate & Online students, celebrating the guidance of his professors and the support of his family and friends. He recently concluded two years as the graduate assistant for women’s basketball.