Taylor University Announces Commencement, Baccalaureate Ceremonies

Published: May 09, 2011

Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies at Taylor University will respectively take place Friday, May 13, at 10:00 a.m., in the Rediger Chapel/Auditorium, and Saturday, May 21, at 10:00 a.m., in the Kesler Student Activities Center (KSAC).

Jay Height, executive director of Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis, is the featured Baccalaureate speaker. Dr. Duane Litfin, President Emeritus of Wheaton College is the featured Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient.

In the 10 years since Height’s directorship began, Shepherd Center has experienced dramatic growth with the number of staff members growing from three to 60 and an annual budget that has grown from $100,000 to the current $4.2 million. In addition, he completed renovations of Shepherd’s old facilities as well as a $3.4 million renovation and relocation to the current community center. 

Height has received numerous recognitions that include: 40 Under 40, (influential members of the Indianapolis community) The Indianapolis Business Journal; Citizen of the Year by Indianapolis area Domino’s Pizza; and Crime Fighter of the Year by the Indianapolis Police Department. He holds degrees from Wright State University and Indiana Wesleyan University.  

Since the end of his tenure as president at Wheaton College (1993-2010), Litfin has served Wheaton as President Emeritus. He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Wheaton and doctorates from Purdue University and Oxford University. 

During his presidency, Wheaton’s campus was enhanced by a campus mall, the Sports and Recreation Center, the Todd M. Beamer Student Center, the Marion E. Wade Center, and a new science center. Ten additional endowed academic chairs were established, and a doctoral program in Biblical and Theological Studies was initiated. He led revisions of Wheaton’s mascot (2000) and a new Community Covenant, which was adopted in 2003.

He is the author of several books, most recently Conceiving the Christian College, and his writings have appeared in numerous journals and periodicals. He will be awarded the degree Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa by the Taylor Board of Trustees.

Taylor University’s graduating class of 2011 consists of 490 graduates:

  • 25 will receive Master of Business Administration degrees
  • 14 will receive Master of Arts degrees in Higher Education and Student Development
  • 11 will receive Master of Environmental Science degrees
  • 5 will receive a Master of Arts degree in Religious Studies
  • 260 will receive Bachelor of Arts degrees
  • 162 will receive Bachelor of Science degrees
  • 11 will receive Bachelor of Music degrees
  • 1 will receive a Bachelor of Business Administration degree
  • 4 will receive Associate of Arts degrees. 
  • 2 graduates are completing the requirements for two Bachelor degrees
  • 1 graduate is completing requirements for both Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees
  • 23 Bachelor’s degree recipients are completing the requirements for at least two majors. 
  • 7 graduates are scheduled to graduate with a perfect 4.0 grade point average during their years at Taylor University. 

The class is comprised of students from 34 states and 10 foreign countries that include: the Bahamas, Bolivia, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Kenya, Qatar, Russia, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. 

A total of 197 Baccalaureate degree recipients have earned graduation honors and will wear gold tassels, cords or sashes at commencement. 

  • 46 are scheduled to graduate with Summa Cum Laude honors
  • 79 have achieved Magna Cum Laude
  • 72 have earned Cum Laude honors. 

The graduates of the class of 2011 will join 20,957 previous graduates of Taylor University.