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Baccalaureate Homily Encourages Graduates to Look for Rainbows

May 14, 2011

Category: Academics, Evening & Graduate, Events, Students


WatsonKristopher Watson of Voorhees, N.J., a 2011 Catawba College graduate and tenor, wowed those gathered for the Baccalaureate Service on campus Friday, May 13, with a solo performance of "Over the Rainbow."   The song's inclusion in the service was at the request of outgoing Catawba College President Dr. W. Craig Turner.

Turner, who leaves Catawba this month after serving three years as its 21st president, tied his baccalaureate homily to that song. He encouraged those graduates in the Class of 2011 to see the rainbow as "a sign of hope – of the future that belongs to us as loving and faithful persons with dreams and goals."

Turner reminded graduates of the biblical story of Noah. After rains had destroyed most of life on earth, he said, God presented Noah with a rainbow as a symbol of "the covenant between me and the earth."

"I hope and pray tonight that you will always look for the rainbows that follow the storms; that you always remember St. Paul's admonition: be persons of faith, hope, and love; and that you heed [English Poet Robert] Browning's advice: "Look up, advance! All now is possible," Turner said, as he concluded his remarks.

Members of the Class of 2011 played key roles in the baccalaureate service, including Susan Fisher of Lititz, Pa., who introduced Turner; Cody Ashby of Lexington, acolyte; Erica Mickey of Thomasville, crucifer; and Shaun Bridgewater of Simsbury, Conn.,   and Molly Williams of Galax, Va., both of whom served as lectors. The Rev. Harvey Joyner, Jr., a United Church of Christ pastor and father of 2011 graduate Kendra Joyner of Petersburg, Va., also participated in the service as a lector.

Other members of the Class of 2011 provided music in a pre-service recital. Stephen Stringer of Philadelphia, Pa., a college keyboard scholar, played a Bach selection. Mary Alice Nichols, a soprano from Conyers, Ga., and Chad Michael Innis, a tenor from Mint Hill, sang solos, while Jaclyn Chapman, a soprano from Leonardtown, Md., and Jennifer Drake, a mezzo-soprano from Salisbury, sang a duet.

Following the service, faculty lit the candles of the graduates in Catawba's traditional Marshal's Walk. As family and friends lined the sidewalk along Oliver's Way, graduates proceeded by candlelight to the front of the Robertson College-Community Center where they listened to brief remarks from their outgoing senior class president, Kendrick Mayes of Fayetteville; the incoming senior class president, Yakir Malul of Rishon Le-Zion, Israel; the outgoing SGA president, Kendra Joyner of Petersburg, Va.; and College Marshal, Professor David Pulliam.

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