A joyful week was jam-packed with celebration to honor our graduates who finished well. It also gathered three new alumni into the Nyack/ATS fold as honorary doctorates were presented to three extraordinary global leaders—Dr. Robert Glover OBE, founder and executive director of Care for Children in China; Dr. Sameh Maurice, senior pastor of Kasr El Dobara Evangelical Church in Cairo, Egypt; and Dr. Carlton Brown, senior pastor of Bethel Gospel Assembly, Inc. in Harlem, NY.
Beginning on Tuesday, May 3, the first of five hooding ceremonies were followed throughout the week by two baccalaureates and a School of Nursing pinning ceremony.
The pièce de résistance was, of course, Commencement Day on Saturday, May 7. A Commencement Brunch at the exquisite Tarrytown House Estate in Tarrytown, NY set the tone for the day that led to the 133rd commencement ceremony at Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY.
More than 150 guests gathered at the Mary Duke Ballroom at the Tarrytown House where souls were nourished and hearts were filled to the brim of tear-filled eyes. A program showcased the music by the Nyack College Christian Folk Ensemble conducted by Prof. Jhasoa Agosto and instrumental music also by Nyack/ATS alumnus, Rev. Kelvin Walker.
Drs. Glover, Maurice, and Brown were inducted into the President’s Hall of Distinction at the brunch. They captivated the audience with riveting remarks on the theme, “Living the Whole Gospel Throughout the Whole World,” the essence of the institution’s mission.
Two remarkable segments that sent a hush over the ballroom were speeches delivered by student speaker, Josue Miguel Calderon Gavilenez, a 2016 graduate of the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling’s Marriage and Family Therapy program. Josue, also a 2012 Nyack graduate who majored in Pastoral Ministries, is currently the Manager of Annual Gift Programs for the College. (See his speech attached here).
The second speech was shared by New York Times and Washington Post journalist Anne Snyder. Ms. Snyder became acquainted with Nyack College just a year ago. Her Washington Post article this past spring heralded the announcement of the new Gospel Music Performance degree launching at Nyack New York City in fall 2016. Her brunch remarks were delivered with generous grace, nearly canonizing the mission carried out by the College and Seminary.
One hundred and thirty-three commencements later, it is clear that graduation is more than a time of conferring degrees at Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary. It is a time when like-minded, kindred spirits come together to commission and launch new and some seasoned leaders onto uncharted paths of their journey to do the work of Lord.
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