Saturday, May 19, 2012
Location: First Baptist Church in Newton Center
Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 19, at 2 p.m. in the First Baptist Church of Newton Centre. Please wear your caps and gowns. For the comfort of you and your guests please make sure that all of you have lunch prior to the ceremony! The ceremony can be lengthy, and we do not serve lunch that day.
Graduates will gather at 1:00 p.m. in the chapel area behind the main sanctuary. Please check your Andover Newton email address and Enews for updates. A light reception on the Andover Newton quad and in Upper Noyes Hall will follow the Commencement Ceremony. As graduating seniors you will each receive 4 tickets to this reception when you pick up your gowns (one for you, and 3 for guests). Additional tickets may be purchased at the Business Office for $10.00 each. Following Commencement, please remember to return your caps, gowns, and hoods to registrar Nayda Aguila, who will be collecting these items at the church.
The Commencement Speaker will be the Rev. Dr. J. Bennett Guess, executive minister of Local Church Ministries for the United Church of Christ and a member of the UCC’s five-person Collegium of Officers. A former journalist whose academic background also includes public policy studies, he received his M.Div. from Vanderbilt Divinity School (1991) and his D.Min. from the Chicago Theological Seminary (2001). He spent 12 years in local church ministries and previously served the UCC at the national level as communications director for Witness and Justice Ministries and later as the denomination’s overall communications director, where his tasks included overseeing the church’s innovative “Still Speaking,” campaign. A Kentucky native, Guess co-founded the Paff Haus Justice and Peace Center and the state’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, the Kentucky Fairness Alliance. He is the first openly gay person to serve as a national officer of the United Church of Christ.
The Faculty have chosen Jennifer Macy to be the student speaker at the service. Jennifer is an Andover Newton senior from Beverly, MA, a member of the United Church of Christ, and a Fund for Theological Education Scholar who founded the multi-cultural youth group at Christ Church United in Lowell. In her research for the Fund, she spent a year studying how well a selected group urban churches serve at-risk teenagers, with an eye toward training leaders to more effectively keep these youths from falling through the cracks of society.
This year's graduating class is comprised of 45 women and 26 men. The United Church of Christ has the largest representation in the class with 24 graduates, followed by 12 Unitarian Universalists, 9 members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and 8 American Baptists. The graduating class includes students from China, South Africa, and Uganda. Degrees awarded include the Master of Divinity (42), Master of Arts (20), Doctor of Ministry (8), and Master of Sacred Theology (1), as well as three graduate certificates signifying focused study in a theological discipline.
Parking for Commencement:
Please plan to park on the Hebrew College or Andover Newton campuses for Commencement. It works well if the driver drops everyone off at the church, goes and parks and then walks down the hill for the service. Immediately following the service you will be lined up at First Baptist for a class picture, which will give the driver ample time to retrieve the car and come down and pick up your party. Another option is to park in the Newton Centre parking lot in the downtown Newton Centre area. There is very limited parking in the First Baptist Church parking lot, and most of this will be reserved for people with disabilities or other special needs. Please email fnovo [at] ants.edu if you or your guests need special accommodations.