As the 2014-2015 school year draws to a close, Grace College and Seminary will be holding a commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9 at 9 a.m. at the Ronald and Barbara Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center. The ceremony will include an invocation by Rev. Jeffrey A. Patton, lead pastor at the Grace Brethren Church in Norwalk, California; an institutional welcome by William J. Katip, president at Grace College; and a benediction by John F. Carini, a physician in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. A brass ensemble, directed by Eric Criss, will be performing at the commencement services, as well as a the Lancer Chorus, directed by Thomas Hall.
This year, Grace asked the senior class to select a faculty member to appear as a special guest speaker during the commencement ceremonies. The students selected Roger Stichter, accounting and finance professor at Grace.
For the 2015 Commencement, Dr. Katip has chosen Dr. Paulette Sauders, the faculty member who has served Grace the longest, to carry the ceremonial mace. Carrying the mace is a great honor and is traditionally borne by someone who has been singled out for tribute.
During the ceremony, Grace will also be honoring Dr. Paulette Sauders for 50 years of service at Grace as a professor of English and journalism. Only three others have reached this esteemed milestone at Grace (Dr. Homer Kent, Jr., Ron Henry and R. Wayne Snider), but Sauders is the first faculty member to accomplish this while still actively teaching full-time. In addition to serving as a faculty member in the Languages, Literature and Communication Department (where she’s taught 17 different courses), Sauders taught in the Grace prison program for 16 years and served as a leader for Women of Grace for 40 years. Sauders has been the chair of the department since 2003 and for four decades has served as an advisor to the school newspaper, “The Sounding Board.”
With its new “Measure of Grace” initiative, underway this year, Grace is working to keep its undergraduate degrees affordable and incentivize student persistence and completion. Effective this coming fall of 2015, Grace will reduce the cost of tuition by nine percent for traditional students on the main campus. In addition, once a student enrolls, his or her tuition will never be raised; instead, each consecutive year students attends Grace, they will receive an additional $500 off their tuition. This can amount to an additional $3,000 savings. This is part of Grace’s continuing commitment to pursuing excellence and affordability for more and more students.