Kuyper Celebrates Annual Academic Honors Convocation

For Dr. Patricia Harris, President of Kuyper College, the annual Academic Honors Convocation is a most wonderful time of the year.

“Hands down, this is my favorite event of our college experience,” she told students, faculty, family and friends gathered in the Vos Chapel to celebrate the event on April 10. “There is something about this that shows the essence of who we are as a college and the mission we are pursuing together as a community.”

She added that the Convocation, which spotlights student excellence, tangibly demonstrates Kuyper’s purposeful approach to learning, work and service, as well as the College’s desire to help everyone flourish in the callings God has placed upon their lives.

Students were recognized for their achievements in academics, leadership and service to the Kuyper community with several special awards, each presented by a professor from the relevant field. After a few words honoring the recipients and explaining the award’s qualifications, recipients took the microphone to reflect on their time at Kuyper.

The Association for Biblical Higher Education Society’s Delta Epsilon Chi Award, presented to senior Thiara Herrera-Leiva, was one such honor. 

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.

“This recognition is very special to me but is definitely not mine alone. If there’s something I know, it’s that it takes a village to raise a Thiara,” she said, to ripples of laughter from the audience. “I’m standing here today as the leader and student that I am because of who the community that has surrounded me is.”

Another of the honors conferred was the Ministry Leadership Award, given to December graduate Isaac De La Rosa in recognition of his academic excellence, exemplary Christian character, meaningful ministry involvement and exceptional potential for future ministerial impact.

“When I got to seminary in January, I was in a state of panic. But, after that first class, I thanked God that I went through the route I did at Kuyper, because I was so prepared to embark on the path that He has for me,” he said, his voice tinged with emotion.

Several other awards were also presented to outstanding students, including the Zondervan Publishing Award in Bible and Theology, Student Service Award and Business Leadership Award. 

Another important part of the ceremony was the presentation of academic achievement cords, to be worn at Commencement in just a few short weeks, and the recognition of students who made the Dean’s List for the Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 semesters.

In the words of President Harris’ opening prayer, “We acknowledge that You, God, are the giver of every good gift, our learning, relationships, experiences, our service, and all our accomplishments. This is a time to celebrate our callings, whatever they may be.”

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