GTU Commencement Exercises 2018
On Thursday, May 10, 2018, the Graduate Theological Union honored forty-three graduates at its 2018 Commencement Exercises. The graduating class included twenty-three scholars receiving the Doctor of Philosophy degree, nineteen receiving the Master of Arts degree, and one receiving the Master of Arts with a concentration in Biblical Languages. This year’s commencement exercises were held in the Le Conte Sanctuary at Zaytuna College. You can watch a replay of the live video stream above, or review the list of graduates and their thesis or dissertation topics.
The graduates entered the sanctuary at 4 pm to the strains of “Come, All Ye Lovers of Learning, Come,” an original anthem composed by Stefan Andre Waligur, a second-year GTU doctoral student. Joining Waligur in performing the special music for this year’s event were cellist Ellen Jewett, and vocalists Mary Beth Lamb, Brandon Peck, and Paul Kircher.
After an invocation by Dr. Deena Aranoff, director of the GTU's Center for Jewish Studies, GTU President Riess Potterveld and Dean Uriah Kim addressed the gathering, honoring the graduates for their hard work and commitment. Dean Kim then announced that Dr. Jean-François Racine, associate professor of New Testament at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University (JST-SCU), was the recipient of the 2018 GTU Excellence in Teaching Award.
Dr. William O’Neill, S.J., associate professor of social ethics at Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, addressed the graduates on behalf of the GTU faculty, offering remarks on the theme of “Unplanning for the Future.”
Following the conferring of degrees, Khalia Jelks Williams, PhD (Liturgical Studies) spoke for the graduating class, reflecting on “The Journey of a Lifetime.” Dr. Williams now serves as assistant dean of worship and music at Candler School of Theology of Emory University in Atlanta.
Rev. Dante Quick, PhD (Systematic and Philosophical Theology) offered the benediction, inviting graduates to remember in gratitude not only the family members, friends, and mentors celebrating with them in person today, but also those who have passed on before this day yet have contributed to their journeys.
On the evening prior to commencement, the members of the graduating class were honored at a reception hosted by the GTU Board of Trustees and held in the courtyard at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. The scholarly work of each graduate in attendance was celebrated by a GTU faculty member with whom they’d worked closely. Ria Aquino (MA) shared on behalf of the graduating class.
Congratulations to all of our graduates!