Booth University College welcomes 39 new graduates this spring

Winnipeg's Booth University College welcomed 39 new graduates at its 31st annual convocation ceremony in April.

At the baccalaureate service, Commissioner Brian Peddle, territorial commander and chancellor of Booth University College, reminded graduates of The Salvation Army's beginnings and of William Booth's tireless commitment to helping those in need.

Commissioner Brian Peddle presents the Chancellor's Medal to Booth UC graduate Rebecca Peters Commissioner Brian Peddle presents the Chancellor's Medal to graduate Rebecca Peters

“Booth noted how many people were living on the streets and sleeping under the bridges of east London. He simply said to his son, 'Go and do something. We must do something.' Today we have an opportunity to affirm again that we wish to join the ranks of the 'do something' champions,” said Commissioner Peddle.

He encouraged graduates to embrace their future, but to do so knowing that “it comes with a measure of life's uncertainties, a dash of trial and a sprinkling of the consequence of wrong decision and failure, for that is life. The counterbalance is the promise of the Almighty to make the sufficiency of his Grace and strength available every day.”

During the convocation ceremony, Commissioner Peddle conferred bachelor of arts degrees upon 14 students—including the first graduate of Booth's behavioural sciences program—bachelor of social work degrees upon 21 students and awarded four certificates to students who had completed programs in chaplaincy and spiritual care. He also awarded bachelor of social work graduate Rebecca Peters with the Chancellor's Medal for achieving a high academic standing and contributing significantly to the life of the university college and the wider community.

Valedictorian Scott Penner addresses graduates at the convocation ceremony Valedictorian Scott Penner addresses graduates at the convocation ceremony

Convocation speaker, Dr. David Rightmire, professor of Bible and theology at Asbury University, noted that while the graduates' time at Booth was a time of growth—both spiritually and intellectually—it was just one significant step in the process of lifelong learning.

Graduate Major Robert Reid echoed this theme, saying, “One thing is true of life: we never stop learning and, if we do, we do a disservice to ourselves, to others and especially to God.

“Thank you to Booth for providing a place where learning is encouraged and hopes are inspired,” he continued. “Today I truly believe that I am a better equipped Salvation Army officer and a better equipped Christian servant because I have had this learning experience.”

Photo: From left, Dr. Donald Burke, president, Booth University College; Dr. R. David Rightmire; Commissioner Brian Peddle; Colonel Glen Shepherd, chair of the board of trustees; Major Ian Swan, vice-president academic and dean, with Booth University College's 2013 graduating class

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