On Thursday, August 23, 2012, Covenant College held its fifty-eighth annual convocation, officially starting the academic year and welcoming the class of 2016. Dr. Derek Halvorson, Covenant's sixth president, led the ceremony of commitment and delivered this year's convocation address.
Furthermore, seven new faculty members were installed: Dr. Robert Erle Barham as an assistant professor of English, Dr. Sarah Donaldson as an assistant professor of education, Dr. Jeff Humphries as an associate professor of computer science, Deborah Kirby as an associate professor of theatre, Dr. Hans Madueme as an assistant professor of theological studies, Dr. Nola Stephens as an assistant professor of linguistics, and Dr. Curtis Stern as a professor of engineering. Dr. Halvorson introduced each of the new professors, and Dr. Jeff Hall, vice president for academic affairs, gave a prayer of installation.
This was Dr. Halvorson's first convocation as Covenant's president. His address, titled "Toward a Reformed Academic Ethos," described four qualities that define the character of the College. He noted that the word convocation comes from the Latin for a shared calling. "We are called to cultivate an ethos of humility, self-denial, friendship, and charity," he said. "Ours is a wonderful calling."
Drums and bagpipes opened and closed the ceremony, and the Covenant College community began the 2012-2013 academic year with renewed fervor and thanksgiving.