Trinity Celebrates Graduates at Commencement

Trinity Christian College graduates, a testament to academic excellence and personal growth, were honored in a commencement ceremony on Friday, May 3rd. They were joined by their proud families and friends and dedicated faculty and staff at Ozinga Field in Crestwood, IL. This year’s event celebrated the hard work of traditional undergraduate, adult undergraduate, and graduate students from Fall 2023 and Spring 2024, all joining together on a crisp spring evening in Chicagoland.

During the ceremony, the community bid farewell to Professor Emeritus of Art and Design John Bakker, M.F.A., who dedicated over forty years of his life to the College. Professor Bakker’s visionary leadership was not just instrumental but transformative in the remarkable growth of the Department of Art and Design, including the establishment of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs at Trinity. His role on numerous College committees, including his founding and continuing role on the OPUS Committee, annually showcasing student scholarship and artistry, has left a mark on Trinity’s legacy.

This year’s commencement speaker, Pastor Jonathan Brooks, lead pastor at Lawndale Christian Community Church and former pastor of Canaan Community Church in Chicago for 15 years, delivered a powerful message. Pastor Brooks, an educator in inner-city Chicago for over a decade, firmly believes in the power of investing in your local community. His desire to impress this virtue on all who will listen, whether in congregation, classroom, or community, resonated deeply with the audience.

During the ceremony, President Aaron Kuecker recognized the Professor of the Year 2024-2025, Dr. Timothy Hendrickson ’96, Associate Professor of English, Department Chair, and Coordinator of Adjunct Care.

Kuecker opened the commencement ceremony with a welcome, and Cal Tameling ’72, Chair of the Board of Trustees, provided the greeting. This year’s Lincoln Laureate, Matthew Huizenga ’24, gave the invocation, and Rev. Benjamin Snoek, Ph.D., the campus pastor, gave the benediction. The ceremony concluded with spectacular fireworks to cap off the first-ever evening commencement.

Check out photos from the event on Trinity’s Instagram page and view the live stream of the ceremony here.