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Lives of Purpose


Each Friday the College’s academic community gathers for convocation, which seeks to enhance the classroom experience through co-curricular academic programming rooted in the liberal arts. Through a variety of speakers and topics, convocation is designed to foster the development and application of a Christian worldview. To that end, its programs provide common experiences to the academic community that will at times reinforce and at times challenge perspectives expressed in the curriculum, encouraging us to listen graciously and learn deeply from those with whom we agree and disagree.

2016–17 Convocation: “Lives of”

We are pleased to welcome to Convocation several imaginative, ambitious, creative, faithful people who embody the heart of the liberal arts education—one that prepares students to lead their lives with purpose. A nod to our tagline, “Lives Worth Leading,” this year’s Convocation theme, “Lives of,” underscores the vast range of qualities that mark the Christian life.

09.02.2016 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation - Leadership: You, Me, and Us
Jessica Huizenga

Convocation presentation by Dr. Jessica Huizenga - Lives of Leadership

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Our first convocation speaker of the Fall 2016 series is Dr. Jessica Huizenga, who comes to us through the Department of Graduate Education. Dr. Huizenga was appointed receiver of the Southbridge Public Schools in March of 2016 by the State Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts, with the charge of turning around a chronically underperforming district. During her 19 years in public education, she has served in the multiple school and district leadership roles department chair, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent of schools. Additionally, she has presented across the country for educators and co-authored three papers on the impact of leadership and collaboration. She is a wife, and mother to three beautiful children and lives in Burlington, MA.

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09.09.2016 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Alternative Convocation - Global Education

Embrace the Difference: Study Abroad

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This alternative convocation is presented by Global Education department. A panel of returning students reflect on and celebrate their experiences abroad.

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09.16.2016 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation - Our Opportunity for Public Faithfulness
Dr. Vincent Bacote

Convocation presentation by Dr. Vincent Bacote - Lives of Faithfulness

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The Office of Student Life and the Department of Political Science are pleased to host our convocation speaker, Dr. Vincent Bacote, who will be speaking on the theme of Lives of Faithfulness. Dr. Bacote (Ph.D., Drew University) is an Associate Professor of Theology and the Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL.  He is author of The Political Disciple: A Theology of Public Life (2015), The Spirit in Public Theology: Appropriating the Legacy of Abraham Kuyper (2005), and has contributed to books including On Kuyper (2013), Aliens in the Promised Land (2013), Keep Your Head Up (2012) and Prophetic Evangelicals (2012). He is a regular columnist for Comment and has also had articles appear in magazines such as Books and Culture, Christianity Today, Think Christian and re:generation quarterly and journals such as Christian Scholars Review, Urban Mission and the Journal for Christian Theological Research. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Christian Ethics. He resides in Glen Ellyn, IL with his family.

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09.23.2016 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation - Lives of Collaboration: The Confession Musical Project
The Confession

Convocation team presentation by the writer, producer and composer of The Confession

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This convocation is sponsored by our Department of Theatre Arts and will be a team presentation from The Confession Musical Project workshop featuring writer, Martha Bolton; producer, Dan Postuma; and composer, Wally Nason. The Confession is a musical based on books about the Amish by best-selling author, Beverly Lewis. It has been produced and performed limited areas of the US and the producers are seeking to re-work the piece for a wider audience and possibly commercial production. Gordon College is hosting a workshop of the show with a reading of the newly developed piece on September 25th in the Blackbox Theatre. Please join us at this convocation for a view of the collaborative process.


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09.30.2016 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Homecoming Convocation 2016
Kristina Stevick

The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations will be hosting the annual Homecoming Convocation.

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Every year the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations sponsors a convocation as part of the Homecoming and Family Weekend. This year will feature a theatre department panel conversation with alumna Kristina Stevick (1998), who is our Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year awardee. The Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year is given for exemplary vision, charisma, courage, determination, resourcefulness, hard work, creativity and innovation. As president and artistic director of History Alive, Inc. at the Old Town Hall in Salem, Massachusetts, Kristina Wacome Stevick devises intriguing theatrical scenarios based on true stories from the past, including the ever popular Cry Innocent, written by her husband, associate professor of English Mark Stevick. Please join us on September 30th for convocation as we begin the Homecoming weekend of events.  

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10.07.2016 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Departmental Convocations
Gordon view

Each semester academic departments meet with students to discuss advising, grad school opportunities, or simply gather to worship and pray together.

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Locations for Departmental Convocation, October 7, 2016

  • Art - BCA126

  • Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries - Chairman's Room in KOSC

  • Biology - KOS104

  • Chemistry - KOS126

  • Communication Arts - BCA138

  • Deciding majors - Choose a department of interest

  • Economics/Business - A.J. Gordon Chapel

  • Education - JEN112

  • English - MAC131

  • Kinesiology - KOS109

  • History - KOS127

  • International Affairs/Political Science - JEN209

  • Languages and Linguistics - MAC212

  • Math/Computer Science - KOS124 (Math) & KOS125 (Computer Science)

  • Music - Phillips Recital Hall

  • Philosophy - MAC211

  • Physics - KOS226

  • Psychology - JEN237

  • Social Work/Sociology - JEN226

  • Theatre - BCA126 (Stebbings Room)

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10.21.2016 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation - Lives of Discovery: Science as a Christian Vocation
Ian Hutchinson

Convocation presentation by Dr. Ian Hutchinson - Lives of Discovery

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This is a Natural Sciences Division convocation and our speaker is Dr. Ian Hutchinson. Ian Hutchinson is Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is an international expert on the physics of plasmas: the ionized fourth state of matter. He led the design, construction, and operation at MIT of a forefront plasma confinement experiment: one of the nation's three major fusion research facilities. Understanding its plasmas, which are hotter than the center of the sun, promotes mankind's effort to generate practical energy from fusion reactions, the power source of the stars. In addition to 200 journal articles and two science text books, he has also written and spoken widely on the relationship between Science and Christianity. His book "Monopolizing Knowledge" explores how the error of scientism arose, how it undermines reason as well as religion, and how it feeds today's culture wars and an excessive reliance on technology.

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10.28.2016 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation - The Messy, Messy World of Namaan
Gary Schmidt

Convocation presentation by Dr. Gary Schmidt - Lives of Community

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This is an Education Division convocation and our speaker is Dr. Gary Schmidt, professor of English at Calvin College and a prolific author of children's literature and young adult fiction. He received both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy and a Newbery Honor for The Wednesday Wars.

Professor Schmidt received his undergraduate degree in English from Gordon College in 1979. Thereafter he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving an MA in English in 1981 and then a PhD in medieval literature in 1985. He joined the faculty at Calvin College in 1985 where he has since taught in the English Department, and in the MFA in Children's Writing at Hamline University. He lives in Alto, Michigan, on an 1830s farm.

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