On May 12, 323 seniors will graduate from Central College. The baccalaureate service will begin at 9:30 a.m. in First Reformed Church. The commencement ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. in H.S. Kuyper Fieldhouse.
Central College has selected two prominent speakers for the day. Both are leaders in their respective fields and represent major priorities for Central College and for higher education: the health sciences and religious tolerance and fellowship.
Kathleen Sikkema, Ph.D., will speak at commencement. A 1984 graduate of Central College and an expert in HIV prevention and mental health, Sikkema is a professor and clinical psychologist at Duke University. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health for 20 years. Sikkema’s talk is entitled “Embrace the Unexpected!”
Rev. Wes Granberg-Michaelson will speak at the baccalaureate service. Retired in 2011, he served as general secretary of the Reformed Church in America (RCA) for 17 years. He is the author of five books; his most recent, “Unexpected Destinations,” is a memoir chronicling his pilgrimage and the church’s missional transformation.
“These two professionals and their important contributions have been influential on a global level,” said Mark Putnam, Central College president. “They are shining examples of service and dedication and clear models for our academic community. Their messages are quite powerful in showing students pathways in life with open doors of opportunities along the way.”
Both Sikkema and Granberg-Michaelson will receive honorary degrees from Central during commencement.
The Chamber Singers—a 16-member chorale ensemble chosen from the larger A Cappella Choir—will perform “Hymn to Central Youth” and “The Lord Bless You.”
Retirees Christine Day, Phil George and Rex Shahriari, all members of the education faculty, will also be honored at commencement.
Watch the Central College commencement ceremony streamed live online at www.central.edu.