Commencement for Trinity Christian School’s class of 2012 was held on Saturday, June 9. Following the processional of our 58 seniors, the invocation was given by Rev. Charles Camlin, Christian studies faculty member. Headmaster Dr. David Vanderpoel welcomed the more than 700 attendees, and all sang the school hymn, “May the Mind of Christ, My Savior”. Mr. Steven Smith, member of the Board of Trustees, led a responsive reading of Psalm 19. Dr. Vanderpoel then gave his Challenge to the Graduates. The seniors beautifully sang the piece they had chosen as their class hymn: “In Christ Alone”. The class had also chosen II Timothy 4:6-8 as their class scripture, which was read by senior Charlie Smith.
Trinity’s mission is to educate students to the glory of God by pursuing excellence for mind and heart, and this mission is carried out specifically through the accomplishment of three institutional objectives: knowledge, character and service. In their Senior Reflections, graduates Lauren Hoots, Andrew Wise and Cason Smith eloquently described what it means to be committed to intellectual formation, spiritual development and cultural engagement. In her speech, Lauren Hoots said, “The knowledge that we gain only becomes meaningful when we put it into action in a way to bring glory to God. Because of this, our teachers have always taught us the information that all other students learn, but they have taught it in the context of our God-given purpose as humans.” Andrew Wise said, “I believe the troubles we have seen in the world have come to refine our character, and have positively impacted our worldviews. I have seen extraordinary character exhibited in these young men and women. I do not mean to say that this is a perfect group of individuals; we are fallen people redeemed by God’s grace. However, because of this love that He showed toward us, we are able to truly love and serve others… outstanding individuals from my class are seeking to better the world through the gifts and talents God has given them. The hardships we have seen have positively impacted our character, and the way we use our abilities.” Cason Smith said, “You’ve developed character. You’ve begun the service. Now you must continue to live it. This class before you, ladies and gentlemen, is a class of leaders- every one of them- whether they themselves believe it or not. A true leader is selfless, willing even to lay down his life for his friends. Service is more than working in a soup kitchen or volunteering at a kid’s camp- it’s a daily habit of thinking of others before ourselves. Jesus says that the greatest among you will be the servant of all. Remember, we are not saved by serving, but rather we are saved for serving.”
Senior Riley Winstead delivered the prayer for the graduates, and then Upper School Principal Michael Dewey presented awards. One of the awards was the C.S. Lewis Institute Prize for Excellence in Apologetics, which went to Grace Koh. This prize is presented to the senior who has provided the best overall thesis and oral defense as determined by panel members. In addition to receiving a plaque, Grace also received a $250 cash award.
The Trinity Women’s Honors Ensemble sang “I Will Lift My Eyes” by Mark Hayes, and then Dr. Vanderpoel and Mr. Alan Lee, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, conferred the diplomas. After Headmaster Emeritus and Christian studies faculty member Mr. James Beavers delivered the benediction, Mr. Dewey presented the graduates to great applause.
On this sunny day it was wonderful to have the reception held outdoors with light fare and cool refreshments, and the opportunity to see the senior memory boards on display. A record number of alumni returned to attend the ceremony and congratulate the new graduates at the reception, which was organized by the junior class parents and students. The class of 2012 has the distinction of being Trinity’s twelfth graduating class, and their commencement coincides with the school’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Congratulations to our new graduates!