Graduation, 2001

by Gale Langley

.....Recently I had the opportunity to attend the Candelighting and Graduation ceremonies at DBU. I thought I'd do a "Commentary from a Former Student's Perspective." If this commentarey seems a little sarcastic or irreverent...please take this as explaination: I love DBU, but I certainly don't worship it, and I think that every institution deserves a little "roasting" now and again.

..... This was the first graduation candelighting I had ever attended, and it was beautiful, despite the lil' advertisement for the Alumni association, ("the advertisements for DBU to all the non-grads I took as a given"). The testimonies by the students were wonderful and moving, and when the grads raised their candles in unison at the end, I got seriously choaked-up.

..... Of course, the Candelighting didn't pass by without a few "interesting" words by Dr. Cook. We've all heard of "foot and mouth" disease...but it seems (as most of us our aware) that our DBU president often suffers from the "foot IN mouth" desease. This event was no exception. The first taste "a la sole" was when he announced Bertrain Bailey...and shared how Bertrain's parents used to call him "Chu-chu." He refrained from disclosing HIS OWN childhood nickname...which seemed quite unfair. (To quote another DBU alumni, Johnny Baker, "That's just wrong!") Then there was the moment when he asked the graduated class to stand according to their age. When he asked those over 40 to stand there was a few hesitant souls...and even more among those over 50.

..... But he redeemed himself when he asked all parents who had travelled from other countries to stand...and knew the names of the students whom they came to see. Not all of Dr. Cooks verbal "dishes" have leather as an ingredient.

..... The graduation was also a joy to watch, especially since I knew so many of the graduates this year. The address was given for the first time by a graduating senior, Sanjay Purushotham. (Don't most schools USUALLY have at least one speech by a graduating, like the valedictorian? ) His speech about God's calling, and God's personal calling on his life, was one of the best I've heard at any such event.

..... And, of course, as usual, they made the little announcement about this being a "worshipful" experience, "so please hold your applause until after the ceremony." And, as always, quite a few of us (myself included) choose to ignore this when our grad crossed the stage.

..... Please understand, it's not that we don't respect the worshipful experience. It's just that during graduation some of us prefer a more "pentacostal" form of worship. A few shouts of "Praise the Lord!" and "Hallelujah!" must be expected. My personal favorite was the lady who sung the beginning of the "Hallaluja" chorus in full operetic voice when her graduate's name was announced.

..... There was a lot of warmth in that gym, despite the Berg, AKA ice berg, living up to it's name. It's hard for people to stay subdued when they watch their loved ones finally achieve what they have been working so hard for.

..... But, as with many accomplishments in life, it is only one step...congradulations graduates on this step! May God direct your steps on His path always!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

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