On April 14, students, faculty, family and friends gathered at Kuyper for the annual Academic Honors Convocation, a time when graduating students who have excelled academically are recognized and celebrated. This year’s gathering was an especially joyful one, as the community was finally able to celebrate in person with COVID-19 concerns easing.
Dr. Patricia Harris, President of Kuyper College, opened the Convocation by saying, “This is my favorite event of our college experience. What makes it so special is that it’s a wonderful, tangible expression of who we are as a college community. It oozes the mission of Kuyper.” Each time an award was presented, a professor from the relevant field offered a few words honoring the recipient and explaining the award’s qualifications. After receiving their awards, recipients were able to reflect on their time at Kuyper.
The awards presented included the Association for Biblical Higher Education Society’s Delta Epsilon Chi Award, which both Maddie Delano and Will Brouwers received. This accolade recognizes students who exemplify leadership ability, intellectual achievement, and Christian character. The name of the award, Delta Epsilon Chi, is composed of the first Greek letters of the phrase “Approved in Christ” from 2 Timothy 2:15. During their time at Kuyper, both Delano and Brouwers have lived out this phrase well.
Another of the awards conferred was the Interdisciplinary Studies Award, given to Madelyn McConnon in honor of her exemplary scholarship, thoughtful insight, and diligent work ethic. While presenting it, Andrew Zwart reflected on the heart for justice and uplifting of marginalized voices that was so evident in all her work.
Several other awards were also presented to outstanding students. These included the Zondervan Publishing Award in Bible and Theology, Association of Youth Ministry Educators Award, and the Business Leadership Award. Following the ceremony, students who made the Dean’s List for the Winter 2020 semester were recognized and presented with honors cords. These are to be worn at Commencement at the end of the academic year.
In her closing speech, Dr. Harris remarked that, “It’s wonderful to celebrate, and that’s what we’re doing today, but ultimately, we are called to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ in God’s good world.” She asked those attending to reflect upon that call as they departed the Convocation.