The 74th Annual Commencement Exercises at The King’s College

On Saturday, May 7, The King’s College hosted its 74th annual commencement exercises honoring the 121 graduates of the class of 2022.

kay cole james speaks at commencement
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On Saturday, May 7, 2022, The King’s College hosted its 74th annual commencement exercises honoring the 121 graduates of the class of 2022 at St. George’s Episcopal Church in New York City.

After the procession of the board, faculty, executive staff, and students into the church, President Tim Gibson welcomed guests. Gibson began his introduction by thanking all of the staff members who helped with commencement before sharing a brief overview of the history of The King’s College. “While our location has changed over time,” Gibson said, “Our commitment to Christ was and is our unwavering foundation.” Gibson went on to add, “Today’s ceremony is a tribute to this class’ unique perseverance and resilience. I trust that God will take all that they have endured these last two years and bear good fruit from it in the years to come.”

WATCH Full Commencement video on YouTube

David Chapman, the father of graduate Harrison Chapman (RTS ‘22), then gave the invocation. He thanked God for the faculty and staff at The King’s College who “faithfully loved our students, encouraged them, supported them, and challenged them to live lives of faith within the King’s community.” Next, Virginia Pike, adjunct instructor in music, led guests in The King’s College Alma Mater. Student Body President Brent Buterbaugh (PPE ‘22) then gave a Scripture reading from Romans 12:9-16.

After the Scripture reading, President Gibson introduced the Commencement keynote speaker, Secretary Kay Coles James, the secretary of the commonwealth for Virginia. Secretary James has a long history of public service, having worked in the administration of four U.S. presidents, and has spent her career promoting public policies that help to strengthen American families, improve education, and alleviate poverty.

James began her speech by remarking on how seeing the graduating class encouraged her. She said, “After spending forty years in government and public policy, I cannot say to this class what hope you give me, to know that you are following with the quality of the education that you have received here, and with the content of your character.”

WATCH Kay Coles James’ address on YouTube

Throughout her speech, James encouraged the graduates to live as if they actually know the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, as if they truly believe the promises of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She told the graduates that “the God that we serve is worthy to be trusted. Trust Him. When you learn to trust God as you navigate life you can do it in a state called unbothered.” She closed her speech by imploring the graduates to “go out and be disruptive, not mediocre. Take on the fight, take on the challenge, and be disruptive. No one gave that blood, sweat, and tears to be mediocre.”

After James’ remarks, President Gibson and Interim Provost Dr. Matt Parks conferred degrees upon the 121 graduates. After the graduates received their degrees and were welcomed as alumni, Connor Kopko (MCA ‘22) gave the valedictory address. He reflected on the opportunity that King’s gave to the graduating class to grow and be stretched in a godly but challenging arena. He encouraged his fellow graduates to rely on God’s faithfulness as they enter the world, quoting from Lamentations 3: “This I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning and great is His faithfulness.”

After Kopko’s speech, graduates Harrison Chapman, Juliette Kheyfets, and Aidan Briggs sang “My Promise,” an original song written by Virginia Pike based on John 14-16. Dr. Carla Bowens, mother of graduate Tyler Bowens (Business ‘22) then led in the benediction. After the benediction, Virginia Pike led in the singing of the doxology. At the conclusion of commencement, the faculty, staff, and graduates recessed from the sanctuary of the church.

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