Goshen College honors Class of 2024

Apr. 28—GOSHEN — For many members of the Goshen College Class of 2024, the annual commencement Sunday may well have represented a first.

Brian Mast, director of facilities for the college, said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the graduates likely did not have had a traditional high school graduation.

"Things are super," Mast said as friends, family members and classmates arrived and got seated prior to the start of the ceremony. "They're great. We're so excited for this class. For most it's the first time they're walking the stage. It's a great celebration of their accomplishments."

To a traditional rendition of "Pomp and Circumstance," graduates filed in just about at 3 p.m., with the Roman Gingerich Center nearly filled, with many attendees carrying flowers and balloons, and many video recording the event on their phones.

Graduate Zoey Martin is an engineering physics major.

"My family and I had lunch and I came in early to help my family find a seat," she said.

Following a welcome by College President Rebecca Stoltzfus, and an invocation by vice-president Gilberto Pérez Jr., Glen Guyton, executive director of the Mennonite Church USA, gave the commencement address.

"Today you are a success, and I want you to enjoy this point in your life," Guyton told the Class of 2024.

Guyton told the class to challenge commonly held notions of success.

"More isn't always better," he said. "It's just more."

Rather than always focusing on the future, he suggested reflecting on past growth.

"Whatever you are today took a lot of work," he said.

Guyton introduced the audience to "Coco," his guitar, which he began learning to play three years ago and on which he performed a song.

After the recognition of retirees came the conferring of degrees as well a performance by the senior ensemble of "Goshen College Alma Mater." Rounding out the ceremony was a benediction by Campus Pastor Jen Shenk.

"Sing your own song," Guyton said. "Don't 'pursue happiness' — be happy, because you have already succeeded."

To view the commencement in full visit www.goshen.edu/news/live-stream.

Steve Wilson is news editor for The Goshen News. You can reach him at steve.wilson@goshennews.com.