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GOSHEN -- No recession could put a damper on the eager graduates of Goshen College Sunday as they celebrated their formal entrance into lives beyond college.
Two hundred thirty-nine students, three of which earned masters degrees, were recognized for their hard work and inspired by a retrospective example of what they could do with their education.
Stephen Ainlay, a sociologist serving as the president of Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., delivered the commencement address. The 1973 graduate of Goshen College discussed courage, perseverance and discernment and called on the graduates to remember the college's motto: "Culture for Service."
"It is easy to lose your way in the 21st century. You will need to sharpen and rely on your convictions in order to avoid going astray," Ainlay said. "Hopefully, your time at Goshen has helped. If so, you have been well-served and you've been prepared to serve well."
Lynn Styf will soon start working at Individuals and Families in Transition (iFit), where she completed an internship.
"It's been a long time. I'm ready to be done," she said, although she's excited to begin her career in social work.
Jesse Landis-Eigsti, who earned his degree in music, said he was "mostly happy, a little nostalgic" Sunday.
Landis-Eigsti plans to live and work in Goshen until he decides between composing music for films or conducting choir. Until then, he'll consider graduate school.
The community also took a moment to remember Deanne Elizabeth Binde, a member of the class of 2009 from Lake Park, Minn., who was killed in a May 2008 car accident.
Six retiring faculty members, totaling 163 combined years of service, were also recognized. They were Fern Brunner, associate professor of nursing; Carl Helrich, professor of physics; Victor Koop, professor of psychology; Sally Jo Milne, associate librarian; Ronald Milne, professor of mathematics; and Judy Wenig-Horswell, associate professor of art.
**Editor's note: This story has been edited to reflect the correct spelling of Stephen Ainlay's name.