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May13WedApril convocation in Winnipeg draws largest crowd to date. May 13, 2015
The April convocation for Winnipeg's Booth University College brought in its largest crowd to date with approximately 750 people filling the pews and balcony of Knox United Church. The morning baccalaureate service also reached an all-time high of nearly 300, filling Booth's Hetherington Chapel and spilling into an overflow room where guests watched a live-stream video.
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“Today you will cross that boundary from being students preparing for your future to being graduates who are launching into your future. But most importantly, today you transition to being active contributors to our world,” said Dr. Donald Burke, president of Booth University College. “As our vision statement asserts, remember that your education is for a better world.”
During the convocation address, Dr. Jonathan Raymond, president emeritus and Senior Fellow of Trinity Western University, spoke highly of the college.
“Its emphasis on student competence and Christ-like character makes possible a higher kind of higher education than what they would receive at other universities,” said Dr. Raymond. “Booth indeed offers one of the most remarkable university experiences available to students today.”
At the baccalaureate service, student Ben Capili shared how his experience at Booth transformed his life. Five years ago Capili was homeless and addicted to crystal meth when he first heard God speak to him. With no coat and-worn out shoes, he walked across the city until he reached the Manitoba Addictions Foundation and began the long, difficult journey to recovery.
“The fact that I'm standing here today is an unlikely story considering where I was five years ago,” Capili said at the service. “Booth's faculty did more than educate me to understand the complexities of our world and to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be an active contributor to society. You welcomed me although you didn't know me; you fed me when I was hungry; you took care of me when I was sick; and you clothed me in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. But above all these virtues, love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. And now? Now we begin the work to fulfil Booth's mission to bring hope, social justice and mercy into our world.”
As a final farewell and on behalf of all graduates, Sarah Ball, Booth's 2015 valedictorian, thanked the many friends, family and faculty members who supported and inspired them along their journey and who cheered them on when they weren't sure they could continue.
“It wasn't just our work that got us here today. It was the support and encouragement of others. To them, we say thank you for investing in us,” said Ball. “And to all graduates, I am here to remind you that our time at Booth has prepared us for what lies ahead. Our professors have done more than just teach us; they have been encouragers and supporters, helping us navigate not only our education, but also helping us plan for our future. Today we leave stronger, confident, having education and experience on our side. We are ready to step out in the world, equipped with knowledge and passion.”