Service and selflessness is message at AU's 90th graduation

Mon, 2008-05-12 11:25 -- univcomm
May 12, 2008

“Service and selflessness” was the message of the 90th commencement ceremony at Anderson University.

Thousands of people still hustled to find their seats in Ward Fieldhouse as the color guard presented the flags to begin the ceremony.

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Friends and family members of all ages, dressed in all kinds of attire, sat among each other for the joyous day—to celebrate the graduation of the university’s class of 2008.

The ceremony hasn’t changed much over the years, said sisters Nicole Fischer, 26, and Kate Lintondo, 31.

The two women sat with their grandparents in the audience as their mother, Katrinna Fischer, 49, received her master’s degree in teaching.

Katrinna Fischer teaches at Eastside Elementary School in Anderson. Her family has sat through several commencement ceremonies at Anderson University as other family members have graduated: Nicole; Kate; Kate’s husband; and Katrinna.

“We just like education,” said Nicole, who is now in law school.

Katrinna Fischer earned her bachelor’s degree from Anderson University not too long before she started the graduate program. Next year, she’ll start at Ball State University to earn her doctorate.

>“She’s excited,” Kate Lintondo said. “She’s looking forward to it.”

All of the graduates, and their teachers, seemed excited for the future.

Commencement speaker James T. Morris, who was given an honorary doctor of law degree, said he was told this group of students was the most prepared class for public service from the university.

“The world is eager for you to make your mark, to do what you can,” he said.

Morris, executive director for the United Nations World Food Programme, talked about Myanmar and the world’s efforts to help the country, which was recently hit with a disastrous cyclone. He also spoke about efforts to eradicate world hunger and help the children of the world.

“Spending time on a team of people, seeking a common cause for a common good, that is the most rewarding experience that a human being can have,” Morris said. “This is a Christian university. This is a university with global outreach. ... The practical application of our faith, whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist, brings us together in a common ground.”

Coming together is how the world will rid itself of hunger, Morris said.

“You never feel so good about yourself with someone else working for someone else,” he said. “Leadership and being an effective person is about seeing your calling in its biggest context.”

The joyous occasion ended as most do—some were laughing and some were crying, but all were ready to go on to another adventure.

—Jessica Kerman is a reporter for the Herald Bulletin in Anderson. Story republished with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.