The Faculty, staff, current students, family, and friends gathered last Saturday, May 19, to celebrate the accomplishments and hard work of the Class of 2018. Festivities kicked off on May 18 with a casual cookout on campus to distribute awards to graduating students. Awards included the Seminary Fellowship Award (Joseph Reid Chapman), the Alumni Fellowship Award (Katie Lynne Brendler), the Martin Dwelle Kneeland Preaching Prize (Vera Eyvonne Porter), and the David Esler Award in Homiletics (Asefa Wakjira).
Later in the afternoon, the Baccalaureate Service was held in Stewart Memorial Chapel in Geneva Hall. This service was organized by the graduating Master of Divinity students, with a sermon titled "Go and Learn What This Means: I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice" by Rev. Dr. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina. Scriptures read in Oromo, Korean, and English, included Hosea 6:6 and Matthew 9:9-13. Music was provided by Alan Choy and current MDiv student, Carolyn Anderson.
Following the Baccalaureate Service, a reception was held in lower Alexander Hall, so that families and friends of the graduates could meet and honor their loved ones.
The next morning, Saturday, May 19, at 9:30 AM, a bagpiper led the excited graduates into First Presbyterian Church in San Anselmo, where the Commencement Exercises took place. Psalm 121 preceded scriptures Hebrews 13:1-16 and Luke 14:7-14. Seminary President, Rev. Dr. James McDonald delivered the Charge to the Graduates, which was entitled, "Ministry at the Margins." SFTS Alumnus, Rev. Norman Fong was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus award.
The SFTS community is proud of the Class of 2018 and their accomplishments. We wish them all of the peace, grace, and joy that they carry with them. We hope they will come back and visit as they can, and that they will never forget the education and community that they experienced during their time here.