Commencement

Join us in celebrating our 2021 graduates!

Because of the ongoing complexities surrounding the pandemic, the 2021 Commencement weekend will look a bit different than the fully virtual events of 2020, and the 2019 traditional, pre-pandemic in-person event.  With the goal of hosting as many people in-person as possible, we have planned the following:

Baccalaureate

The Baccalaureate service will be held on May 7th in Wesley Chapel at 6:30 p.m. for graduates and platform party members only.  No guests will be permitted on campus for this event. The service will be live-streamed for guests.  Please note that there will be no viewing areas for guests on campus.

Watch Baccalaureate

Commencement

The Commencement ceremony will be held on May 8th in Wesley Chapel at 10:00 a.m. for graduates, faculty readers and platform party members only.  Two guests per graduate can be on campus to join a designated viewing area for the live-streamed event.

Watch CommencementCommencement Speaker

Dear Families of Graduating Students,

I am especially pleased this year to invite you to share with us the events of Commencement 2021.  This is a significant time for all of us who have been involved in the lives of our graduating seniors, and in 2021 more than ever. The Class of 2021 has endured much more than the usual round of examinations and term papers and laboratory assignments in receiving their degrees. They have also demonstrated extraordinary determination, creativity, and resilience in completing their Houghton degree in the context of a global pandemic.  They have shown that they can persist in the face of disappointment and ongoing uncertainty—and improvise their plans in order to accomplish their goals.  While we would never have chosen these circumstances as a context for their college experience, we trust in God’s providential power to redeem these events to make our graduates even more prepared to deal with the challenges that life brings to them in the years following graduation.

In this context of the pandemic, we have come to realize that the typical events of this special weekend of celebration are not at all to be taken for granted.  After having to celebrate last year’s graduating class entirely virtually—we are delighted to be able to have certain components of this year’s events in person.  It will not be what any of us envisioned when the Class of 2021 began their Houghton journey, but it will be treasured more than ever because of all we have gone through.

We plan to host Baccalaureate in person in Wesley Chapel for the graduates themselves and the platform party. This event will be live-streamed.  Commencement will also be an improvised in-person ceremony for our graduates featuring our Commencement speaker the current President and CEO of Christianity Today, Tim Dalrymple.  This will also be livestreamed for all those who want to join in honoring and celebrating our graduates.

Following the ceremony, we invite our graduates and their pre-registered guests to an outdoor reception in numerous locations on campus designated by academic departments.

More than ever, we want to show this year’s graduating class how very proud we are of them, and to celebrate their achievements, both individually and collectively, in the context of the extraordinary adversity that has shaped their college pilgrimage. Just as you entrusted your children to us several years ago—with little knowledge of all that would come in the intervening years, we now join together once again in entrusting these same young people into God’s hands for His purposes and His plans in the coming years.

Dr. Shirley A. Mullen, PresidentSincerely,

Shirley A. Mullen
President

Timothy Dalrymple

Commencement Speaker

Dr. Timothy Dalrymple was raised in nondenominational evangelical churches in California. A national champion gymnast, he went to Stanford University where he suffered a broken neck his sophomore year. Then followed many years in academia, at Stanford, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where he made suffering a key theme of his research and teaching in modern western religious thought. Dalrymple helped to launch Patheos.com, an online marketplace of religious ideas, and pioneered many of the techniques that led Patheos to become the world’s largest platform for multi-religious conversation. In 2013, Dalrymple founded Polymath, a creative agency that serves businesses and nonprofits serving the world. In May 2019 he became President and CEO of Christianity Today, the flagship evangelical media ministry founded in 1956 by Billy Graham.

Read more about Dr. Timothy Dalrymple

Commencement Reception

Each graduate will be permitted 2 guests for an outdoor reception that will begin at the conclusion of the commencement ceremony.

Further information will be shared with graduates and their guests regarding next steps and protocol for commencement as we follow guidelines set by the state of New York.

Questions? Please send an email to commencement@houghton.edu.