Graduation, 1978

Tuesday, June 13, was an important and joyous occasion for our Protestant Reformed Churches. It was the date of our Theological School’s graduation program, held this year at our Hope (Walker) Protestant Reformed Church, with a goodly audience in attendance.

This year’s graduation program was unique in more than one respect. 

In the first place, at this same program we also had a graduate from our Pre-seminary Department. Usually pre-seminary graduation is conducted in a daytime program at the Seminary Building. However, since pre-seminary and seminary graduation coincided this year, the two were combined in one program. Deane Wassink, a son of our Holland congregation, has completed his pre-seminary work; and next fall, the Lord willing, he will begin his seminary work. 

In the second place, this year we had three seminary graduates who were all sons of churches in Classis West. Wilbur Bruinsma and Richard Flikkema are sons of our South Holland, Illinois church; and Michael De Vries is a son of our Pella, Iowa congregation.

In the third place, two of the graduates were at one time parishioners of two of the professors. Prof. Decker mentioned in his address that Messrs. Bruinsma and Flikkema were at one time his parishioners in South Holland. They were also my parishioners in South Holland prior to 1959. In fact, I baptized Mr. Bruinsma. However, these young men were toddlers when I bade farewell to South Holland and do not remember that I was their pastor. 

As I remarked the evening of graduation, there is something sad about graduation for the faculty. These three candidates have been with us at school for a total of six years—three as pre-sems and three as seminarians; we will miss them. But graduation is also commencement. We rejoice that the Lord has given us three well-qualified candidates for the ministry. Our hope and prayer for them is that they now stand at the beginning of a blessed and fruitful ministry. 

Prof. Decker’s pertinent graduation address appears elsewhere in this issue.