GOSHEN — The Goshen College class of 2013 received their degrees Sunday afternoon, April 28, after being encouraged to search for truth and authenticity in a world that sometimes misses them.
The 115th graduating class at Goshen College, made up of 261 undergraduate and 16 masters candidates, celebrated their accomplishments and their graduation while also remembering the loss of a classmate.
“We have prayed together, shared lots of fun, some pranks, loads of good will, a few severe mercies and deep sorrows,” President James Brenneman said. “We remember the tragic loss of fellow studentMillicent Morros.”
Morros was shot and killed in a murder-suicide in Goshen on the morning of March 4, but received her diploma posthumously. Morros' classmates in the Adult Learning division wore pink roses in her memory.
A moment of silence was also observed after Morros' name was called during the awarding of diplomas.
Keynote speaker Dan Charles, a food and agriculture correspondent for National Public Radio, spoke to graduates on the topic of “Searching for what's real in a virtual world,” providing anecdotes from his own life and work as a journalist.
Charles first spoke of the importance of learning, and to continue learning after leaving school.
“Our job – not just my job as a journalist, but the job of all of us – is to search for the best, most true and useful information and understanding that we can,” he said.
“It takes passion to sort out rumor from truth,” Charles continued. “To be willing to consider evidence that contradicts our assumptions; to spend time searching for answers to hard questions.”
The second part of Charles' address focused on the necessity of building personal relationships. He encouraged graduates to take a step back from the communications technology so readily available and to make time to create face-to-face interactions.
“Technology is amazing and wonderful and useful,” Charles said. “What I am saying is: Don't use it to replace actual life with something that's endlessly entertaining and always at our fingertips but less authentic.”
Charles closed with his hope for the class of 2013. “This authenticity I'm talking about is connected to values ... that are also at the heart of the religious tradition that built this college: humility, honesty, community.”
“These are values to live by. Even today. Especially today.”
Editor's note: The original version of this story was inaccurate on the number of undergraduate degrees. This version is correct.