Taylor Baccalaureate Ceremony is Friday; Commencement is May 19

By Jim Garringer Published: May 09, 2012

Taylor University Commencement

Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies at Taylor University will respectively take place Friday, May 11, at 10:00 a.m., in the Rediger Chapel/Auditorium, and Saturday, May 19, at 10:00 a.m., in the Kesler Student Activities Center (KSAC).

Rick Hawks, pastor of The Chapel in Fort Wayne, Ind., is the featured Baccalaureate speaker and will be honored with a Presidential Medallion. Dr. Fergus MacDonald, past president of the United Bible Societies and current director of Taylor’s Center for Scriptural Engagement, is the featured Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient. Also receiving an honorary degree during Commencement is Rev. Ho Yong Kim, executive director of the Korean Bible Society.

A veteran of more than 30 years of pastoral ministry, Hawks has filled pastorate assignments in Fort Wayne and Lansing, Mich. Since 1994, he has served as founder of and senior pastor The Chapel. He has served on community boards with Lifeline Youth and Family Services, Indiana Policy Review and the Heritage Mission School, and serves as the Chaplain of the Aboite Township Fire Department in Fort Wayne. He also served for several years on Taylor University Fort Wayne’s Community Advisory Council.

Macdonald has served as General Secretary of the National Bible Society of Scotland (now Scottish Bible Society) and United Bible Societies. During his tenure with the United Bible Societies (UBS), the organization embarked on a $60 million scripture translation, publishing and distribution effort called Operation 21. O-21, as it was known, comprised 400 projects that resulted in 85 million printed copies of the Bible, children’s Bibles in India’s major languages, and the production of scripture videos into Arabic dialects in the Middle East.

Prior to his work with the Bible Societies, Macdonald served pastorates at churches in Scotland and Peru. He has also authored several books, written dozens of articles and book chapters and has participated on committees that worked in advisory roles for Scottish television and Scotland’s National Prayer Breakfast. Additionally, he has served as a Fellow for Taylor University’s Spencer Centre for Global Engagement (2008-10) and as Director Center for Scripture Engagement since 2011.

Kim serves as executive director of the Korean Bible Society (KBS). He also has served the United Bible Societies as a member and vice chairman of the Executive Committee and the Asia Pacific Regional Executive Committee.

Under Kim’s direction, the KBS has produced more than 83 million Bibles in 464 languages for worldwide distribution. More than 100 countries each year receive Bibles from the KBS. Kim holds the Republic of Korea Order of Civil Merit, Mongyeon Medal, a prestigious award presented to people who have made significant contribution to Korean politics, economy, society, education and academics.

Taylor University’s graduating class of 2012 consists of

  • 485 graduates;
  • 278 of whom are women with the remaining
  • 207 being men. 
  • 17 will receive Master of Arts degrees in Higher Education and Student Development;
  • 33 will receive Master of Business Administration degrees;
  • 9 will receive Master of Environmental Science degrees;
  • 253 will receive Bachelor of Arts degrees;
  • 165 will receive Bachelor of Science degrees;
  • 5 will receive Bachelor of Music degrees;
  • 1 will receive a Bachelor of Business Administration degree; and
  • 4 will receive Associate of Arts degrees. 
  • 2 graduates are completing the requirements for two Bachelor degrees
  • 36 Bachelor’s degree recipients are completing the requirements for at least two majors. 

In addition, 262 have had study abroad experiences while at Taylor. While 63% of this year’s graduating class have had at least one such experience, many have had more international experiences.

  • 223 Baccalaureate degree recipients have earned graduation honors
  • 53 are scheduled to graduate with Summa Cum Laude honors;
  • 86 have achieved Magna Cum Laude; and
  • 84 have earned Cum Laude honors. 
  • Four graduates are scheduled to graduate with a perfect 4.0 grade point average during their years at Taylor University. 

The class comes from 34 states and 18 foreign countries which include: Bahamas, Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Uganda, United Kingdom, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. The graduates of the class of 2012 will join 21,447 previous graduates of Taylor University.

Joshua Larkin, the third year Taylor student who died April 4, will receive a posthumous Associate of Arts degree.