Friday, December 11, 2015 More than five dozen candidates for degrees entered Herrick Chapel, filling the first few pews of its central aisle. Joined by their families and friends, these eager Bulldogs hung onto each and every word of Mr. Garin Horner, who delivered the commencement address.
Commencement Sunday, May 1, 2016
Almost 250 candidates for degrees faced the bright yellow blooms of Commencement Plaza, their optimism undaunted by the overcast sky above. These Bulldogs sat amongst a crowd of their families and friends, paying rapt attention to the proceedings onstage. An honorary Doctor of Humane Letters was awarded to Michael Nelson Seelye ‘74, a successful business owner, real estate investor and winner of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award. “I came to Adrian College to major in business but never imagined my success in business would enable me to give back to my community,” said Seelye, who sat on the College’s Board of Trustees between 2008 and 2015. “Adrian College gave me the tools to be successful in business and philanthropy.” The spring 2016 commencement speaker was Linda Depta, director of college relations at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Over the course of her career — which has spanned more than 30 years — Depta has received numerous honors, including several Higher Education Marketing Awards and the 2012 National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Paragon Award. “On behalf of my fellow trustees and all of us here, we want to say congratulations and welcome to all of our guests. We are here to mark this day with ceremony and celebration,” began Depta, who has served on the Adrian College Board of Trustees since 2001. Depta’s speech centered around her chosen theme, “There is a Time for Everything.” In it, she described each stage of an Adrian College graduate’s life as a period of time appropriated for a particular purpose. As she put it, “ ... there’s a time for everything — just not everything all at once. There’s a specific time for most things — just not all at the same time.” “We are called to one stage of life, and when we have matured there . . . we’re called on to the next. To go on means that we also need to leave behind,” Depta stated. “Moving on takes courage. You can do it, you must do it, and you will do it.” “God has made everything beautiful in its time, and so he has also planted eternity in your heart and mine. We are on a journey to find our eternity — to explore and live each season of life with gusto and wonder, and to open that box of chocolates and gobble it all down, with the confidence that nothing too good or too bad lasts too long.” In her final remarks, Depta imparted a heartfelt blessing: “Enjoy all your seasons, graduates. May God continue to richly bless you and your family, and may God continue to bless Adrian College.”
The associate professor of art and design began by stating that “ ... we’re here today for one reason: to celebrate you and your accomplishments from the amazing journey that you’ve been on at Adrian College.” Mr. Horner then delved into his topic, “There and Back Again ... A Recap of Your Epic Adventure at Adrian College.” He took the time to thoroughly describe the life lessons learned throughout a college career. He concluded with a stimulating stretch of open-ended questioning: “What will you do with the benefits you’ve received? With all you’ve been given, how can you work to make this world a better place? How will you become part of something greater than yourself and contribute to the lives of others? What will you do to continue to grow, to push your own boundaries, to become leaders … to build on the momentum you’ve gathered from your Adrian College experience?”