For the 39th straight year, the processional was rain free. [Photo on left: Steven Curtis Chapman sings "The Great Adventure" following his commencement speech during Anderson University's graduation on Saturday. Chapman, an Anderson alumnus, received an honorary doctor of music degree.]
“It was such a nice day,” said Chris Williams, director of university communications. “It was a great celebration.”
Tammy Rimer agreed, saying the day and ceremony were beautiful.
The mother of three received a master’s degree in business administration.
“I did my undergrad 17 years ago,” she said. “I am a business owner in Anderson and wanted to better myself and get the tools to take my company further.”
Rimer, who owns CN Design and Marketing, said it was a last-minute decision to get her degree.
“I was considering just auditing a few classes to get some knowledge, but my husband pushed me,” Rimer said. “I made the decision a week before classes started.”
The highlight of commencement was made by speaker Steven Curtis Chapman, who attended Anderson University.
“Steven Curtis Chapman gave the keynote and was spectacular,” Rimer said.
Chapman, a Grammy and Dove award-winning Christian recording artist, shared his stories about AU, including how he met his wife.
“They were both Chapmans, so they shared a mailbox,” Sena Landey said. “They met as mailbox mates.”
Landey, vice president for finance and treasurer, said Chapman challenged and connected with students.
“He sang ‘The Great Adventure,’” Landey said. “I thought it was an appropriate song to students as they move ahead in their future.”
Students sang along and were thanked by Chapman for providing backup vocals.
“It was very moving. Everyone was in a celebrating mood,” she said. “I have bright hopes for their future.”
A live webcast of commencement was shown, something new to 2011 commencement, allowing those who couldn’t be there a chance to see friends or family graduate.
“At the highest point, we had 200 people watching. There were people watching from Ireland, Brazil and Africa,” Williams said. “One of the men from Africa was able to see his daughter graduating. He couldn’t be there. Steven Curtis’ daughter Emily was able to watch her father give his speech.”
—April Abernathy is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Photo credit: Aaron Piper. Story republished with permission.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.