Tabor College celebrates two Commencement ceremonies

Tabor Commencement

The 112th Commencement of Tabor College was the first of its kind.

Students of the Class of 2022, including 124 undergraduates (online and on-campus) and 49 from Graduate & Online, were honored in separate ceremonies with their family and friends.

A significant increase in Graduate & Online enrollment marked the college’s second year of holding Commencement in the Richert Auditorium of the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts.

Dr. David Janzen took part in his first Commencement as Tabor president and between the two ceremonies, over 1,000 guests were welcomed to campus.

Amy Ongstad
Amy (Lautt g’01) Ongstad, student speaker at Graduate Commencement

Following the president’s opening greeting, Toby Penner (SR, Whitewater, Kan.) gave the undergraduate address, highlighting the many accomplishments and memories of the Class of 2022. He challenged his classmates to not let their collegiate accolades be their defining moment.

“So often God speaks to us through other people and it’s important we open ourselves to new relationships wherever we go next,” Penner said. “We need to also continue to learning. Don’t get me wrong, a college degree is an amazing accomplishment and something that we should be very proud of. If we leave Tabor thinking that we have nothing else to learn, we will miss valuable lessons God wants to teach us in the coming days, months and years. We need to make Jesus the center of each day. Not each Sundays or holidays, each and every day.”

Amy (Lautt g’01) Ongstad spoke on behalf of the Graduate & Online students for the afternoon’s ceremony. A part of the inaugural cohort for the M.Ed. in Neuroscience & Trauma, Ongstad emphasized the relationships they formed through this breakthrough program.

“We have shared our joys and struggles, cheered each other on, prayed for each other, and dared to be vulnerable,” Ongstad said. “We hoped to find acceptance in our weaknesses. Our lives have been woven together through our time at Tabor, and the connections we’ve made here will remain long after we finish.”

The Tabor College Concert Choir was featured in the morning, singing “Celebrate” by Keith Hampton. The performance was highlighted by solos from Betsy George (JR, Omaha, Neb.) and Jessica Klein (SO, Bel Aire, Kan.).

The keynote speaker of this year’s Commencement was Alistair Robertson (g’84). Serving in social work for nearly 40 years, Robertson spoke of God’s calling into the profession and what has been an award-winning career. After living in Kansas from 1981-2002, he has spent the last 20 years at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, Calif.

Alistair Robertson
Alistair Robertson (g’84), Commencement keynote speaker

Robertson’s speech, titled “A Life’s Journey of the Weird and of God’s Grace,” centered around God’s hand in his story. A native Californian, he recalled coming across a Campus Life magazine that featured a full-page advertisement for Tabor College and its social work program. Wanting to work with those battling mental health, Robertson took it as his door to his career.

“This is my passion, joy and ministry,” Robertson said. “My prayer for each graduate is that you’ll find your passion. What brings you joy? Integrate your spiritual gifts into your work, so that work becomes a place of worship and that you live a life of purpose with gratitude.”

The following degrees were conferred among the 173 total graduates.

Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts-Online
Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Social Work
Associate of Arts
Master of Business Administration
Master of Education in Neuroscience & Trauma
Master in Ministry Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Hooding ceremonies were conducted by the director of each graduate: Mark Posson, director of nontraditional & business programs, assistant professor of business; Dr. Rick Bartlett, director of theological education & associate professor of ministry; and Dr. David Stevens, M.Ed. program director and associate professor of education.

Tabor College Graduate Commencement
Tabor College Graduate Commencement

The presentation of the honor cords was conducted by Dr. Chris Dick, professor of English and faculty chair. President Janzen presented diplomas and Rod Hamm, director of alumni relations, provided each graduate with a Bible.

William Boney (SR, Frisco, Texas), senior class president, provided the final address on behalf of the undergraduate class.

“I’ve learned a lot here at Tabor College, and most of what I’ve learned is that we are all different in some way,” Boney said. “We have students here from all over the United States, and even from all over the globe. We have students who are the first in their families to graduate from college and I’ve got to meet so many different people from different cultures, and I’m forever grateful for that. Tabor gives students opportunities that bigger schools couldn’t.”

See more photos from the 112th Commencement of Tabor College