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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.

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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11.04.2016 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation - Faith, Hope...and Politics?

Convocation presentation by Dr. Timothy Sherratt - Lives of Engagement

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This is a Social Sciences Division sponsored convocation and the speaker is our own Dr. Timothy Sherratt, Professor of Political Science at Gordon College, where he teaches American politics, constitutional law and Christian political thought. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Kentucky. He is the author of Power Made Perfect? Is There a Christian Politics for the Twenty-First Century? (Cascade 2016), and, with Ronald P. Mahurin, Saints as Citizens: A Guide to Public Responsibilities for Christians (Baker, 1995). He has authored chapters in two books and his work has appeared in a number of journals. He is a regular contributor to Capital Commentary, the online journal of the Center for Public Justice (www.cpjustice.org ) based in Washington, D.C. A U.S. Permanent Resident, he has lived in the United States since 1978. He and Christine have four children and live in Rowley, MA.

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11.11.2016 - Friday 10:25 AM — 11:10 AM

Convocation - Lives of Creativity: The Artistry of Warren Lee

Convocation presentation and performance by concert pianist Warren Lee and panel discussion

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This is a Division of Fine Arts convocation, featuring Warren Lee, world renowned pianist and composer. There will be a short live performance by him followed by an informal panel discussion with music faculty about Warren's approach to his art and how his faith informs his music making. This convocation will supply a unique opportunity for students to experience a live performance and then to hear from the artist about his faith and artistic story. A Steinway Artist as well as an MBA graduate, Warren is also an award-winning and internationally published composer. Warren received the Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award in Hong Kong in 2012 and was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in 2015 for his significant contribution to the music profession.

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