President says: Go forth, do well, do good.

Almost 600 students received diplomas at Drew’s 146th commencement.

Sunny skies greeted graduates and families to match the jubilant mood of Drew’s 146th Commencement ceremony.

Nearly 600 students from the College of Liberal Arts, Caspersen School of Graduate Studies and Theological School were awarded diplomas on Saturday, May 17, 2014. The procession began with a ceremonial walk along a path from the Simon Forum to the Mead lawn, which was led by a traditional bagpiper and drummer.

“This is a moment of going forth from the forest to the beyond,” said University Chaplain Tanya Linn Bennett T’11 during the invocation. “We are here to praise you for this moment and walk eagerly to the next.”

Two honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees were conferred: one to Trustee Hugh D’Andrade and one to Bishop In Hwan Kim T’85.

Every seat was filled with family members, friends and well wishers and even a few pets attended the ceremony, which was live streamed for those who could not attend.

The Drew University Chorale and the Ubuntu Pan-African choir performed during the ceremony

Zainab “Zee” Sulaiman, president of the Drew African Student Association, was the speaker for the college; Joe Samalenge, the vice president of the Theological Student Association, spoke for the Theo School; and Daniel Moran, the first graduate in the History and Culture graduate program, spoke for Caspersen.

Outgoing Drew President Vivian A. Bull gave the Commencement address. She referred to three principles of leadership: responsibility, vision and achievement and challenged graduates to remain true to themselves, “Be true to your own personality, spirit and character, making adjustments when necessary for those may change over a lifetime, but still be authentic.”

Dean Criares C’85 announced that Drew would name Bull as President Emerita and establish the “Vivian A. Bull Academic Commons” in the Rose Library.

The crowd gave Bull two standing ovations.

Professor of Art Raymond Saá Stein of the college was honored with the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching; Traci West, professor of ethics and African American Studies, was given the Teacher of the Year award in the Theo School; and Liana Piehler, an adjunct professor, was awarded the Thomas H. Kean Scholar/Mentor of the Year honor in the Caspersen School.

Two gifts were presented to the university. The Class of 2014 raised $11,000 to refurbish the atrium of the Rose Library and graduates of the Theological School have given $8,000 toward building a stone labyrinth on campus between the Hall of Sciences and Madison Avenue. – Liz Moore

Lasting Moments