From the Trans-European Division News Bulletin:
Bracknell, England – The Awards Ceremony at Newbold College marked a significant step forward in developing the professional skills of the 53 graduates, who marched down the aisle of the Newbold Church Centre at the Awards Ceremony on 5 July.
The main speaker to the graduates, banker, lawyer and philanthropist, Dr Herta von Stiegel, pulled no punches as she listed the challenges of the ‘global mountains' of poverty, climate change, deep spiritual hunger and a leadership vacuum. Focusing on the Old Testament leader, Caleb, she urged the graduates to fill the leadership vacuum and seek the courage to conquer the mountains and become ‘cities of refuge' for those whom they seek to serve.
Leading out in her first Newbold Awards Ceremony, Principal Jane Sabes extended a generous welcome to the visiting civic and religious dignitaries, the staff behind her on the platform and the graduates from 26 nationalities with their families and friends. She had an appropriate welcome, too, for a group of about 30 alumni from the 1950s, including seven alumni of the original nineteen men and women who had graduated from Newbold in 1959 and returned to celebrate their 50th anniversary at their alma mater. ‘These are the men and women in whose footsteps you will walk,' she told the graduates of 2009.
Music for the Awards Ceremony was provided by the graduates themselves. Swiss/Icelandic opera singer, Manfred Lemke, graduating with an MA in Theology, sang, ‘Lord God of Abraham' from Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Behavioural Science graduates Sherri-Lee Galloway, Cindy Grey and Marianne Ottesen sang, ‘My Tribute' by Andraé Crouch.
As the programme ended, the graduates and their friends spilled out for refreshments on the lawns in front of the Newbold Church Centre, to the accompaniment of music by Korean violinist, Kai Choi. ‘The sun shone, the violinist played, and the refreshments circulated. The whole occasion had the air of a real celebration,' said one participant.
One of the graduates, Paul Tompkins, Youth Ministries Director of the Trans-European Division, graduated with a DMin, having completed his dissertation entitled ‘Bringing Home Our Adventist Prodigals: A Strategic Plan to Reclaim Youth in the Trans-European Division.’ Sharing some sentiments about Newbold, Dr Tompkins commented, “Newbold has always been a very special place in my experience and I just love the warm community feeling – and it is a joy to see that today’s students feel just the same as I did when I first went there back in the 1970’s.”
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/1747