Commencement celebrated the graduation of 189 traditional and 45 Adult Studies students on Saturday, May 18, 2013. The speaker for the traditional ceremony was Dr. Justin Cooper ’72, executive director of Christian Higher Education Canada (CHEC).
During the ceremony, Dr. Robert Rice, professor of history was honored with emeritus status. Rice has served the College since 1979 and was honored with the inaugural Professor of the Year award last year.
This year’s Professor of the Year award was presented to Dr. Brad Breems, professor of sociology. The award recognizes the achievements of a distinguished professor who has shown excellence in teaching or scholarship. The faculty development committee chooses from nominations submitted by students, faculty, and staff.
Commencement guests were greeted by Beth Decker ’67, chair of Trinity’s Board of Trustees. Henry Perez, parent of Adam Perez ’13 of Racine, Wisconsin, gave the invocation. The Commencement litany was delivered by Student Association Vice President Megan Kuiper ’14 of McBain, Michigan.
All the graduates were welcomed to their new alumni status by Travis Bandstra ’06, director of alumni relations. The benediction was offered by Ellen Fondrk, parent of Kaitlyn Fondrk ’13 of Belvidere, Illinois.
Dr. Cooper’s address was titled “Living Sacrifices for Christ.”
Processing this year were students from Trinity’s Class of 1963.
President Steve Timmermans, Ph.D., greeted Commencement guests. Dr. Mary Webster Moore, assistant professor of education, gave the invocation. The Commencement litany was delivered by Karen A. Rivera ’13 Homer Glen, Illinois.
The graduates were welcomed to their new alumni status by Joyce Schulting ’74, alumni board president. The closing prayer was offered by Chaplain Willis Van Groningen, Ph.D.
About Dr. Justin Cooper ’72
Dr. Justin D. Cooper has had a long career of service in Christian higher education and is now the executive director of Christian Higher Education Canada (CHEC), an organization of 33 Christ-centered universities, colleges, and seminaries. He is also president, emeritus of Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, where he served for 30 years—16 as president and eight as vice president, academic, in addition to being a faculty member in political science.
In the academic arena, he completed two terms as a board member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, an organization of over 100 Christian liberal arts institutions based in Washington, D.C., served as chair of the Board of CHEC, and formerly was vice chair and then executive director of the Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities. He has also served on institutional visiting committees for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and for Ontario’s Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board.
He received his B.A. from Trinity Christian College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Toronto. In May of 2010, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by McMaster University.
He and his wife, Jessie, live in Dundas, Ontario, have two married sons and eight grandchildren, and attend First Hamilton Christian Reformed Church.