Kuyper Celebrates Commencement

“The world often tells us to follow our dreams,” Mandi Taylor told the Kuyper College Class of 2024, “But these don’t always line up with God’s plan for us.”

Speaking to the graduates, together with their family and friends, who gathered in the Boonstra Gym on April 26 to celebrate Kuyper’s 85th Commencement, she added that this is something she knows from personal experience. 

After high school, she attended several colleges but ultimately bought a business on Mackinac Island and didn’t complete her degree. Years later, she returned to higher education after finding her calling to social work.

Taylor graduated from Kuyper in 2018 with a degree in the field, earned her Master of Social Work degree from Spring Arbor University in 2022 and now works for Bethany Christian Services as the Parenting Supports Supervisor in the Foster Care Department. Together with her husband, Brian, she was also a foster parent for seven years.

“I am nowhere near where I envisioned myself being when I was in high school,” she said, smiling. “But God put in my path better opportunities than I ever dreamt possible.”

One of the most important things she learned along the way, she told those gathered for graduation, is that serving others is a big part of following His direction.

This is a lesson Kuyper has been teaching its students for the past 85 years, summed up perfectly in the theme for the 2023-24 academic year, “A Life of Service.”

Dr. Patricia Harris, Kuyper President, echoed this idea as she welcomed Commencement attendees.

“These graduates are the reality of our mission. They are being formed as lifelong learners for purposeful lives of work and service to God and neighbor, and we are so thankful for that,” she said.

Abby Brown is one of those learners. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and delivered a special message from the Class of 2024.

Reflecting on her time at Kuyper, she noted that the love of Christ she felt flowing throughout the community taught her to love and serve others as well. 

She exhorted her fellow graduates to carry this love with them as they begin their new lives.

“We are not leaving; we are being sent. May we remember the lessons that we learned here, to be quick to serve and open our arms wide to embrace others, even if they do not look or think like us. And may we constantly remind ourselves of the source of this love: Christ,” she said.

After receiving their diplomas, the Class of 2024 heard similar words of commissioning from President Harris.

“Remember that you are surrounded by family, friends, faculty and staff, and 85 years of alumni who are living lives of service all over the world,” she said with a wide smile. “Go and shine brightly and boldly into every square inch of this world, doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with your God as you love and serve Him and your neighbor. Congratulations, Class of 2024!”

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You will graduate with both an academic and a work transcript detailing your work experience for future employers.


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