On Thursday, August 28, 2014, Covenant College held its sixtieth annual convocation ceremony, opening the academic year and welcoming the Class of 2018 to the Covenant community. President Halvorson presided over the ceremony, and Professor William Tate delivered the convocation address.
Covenant’s Pipe & Drum Corps led the faculty processional to the stage. The ceremony began with an invocation, the reading of scripture, and the hymn "Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven."
Tate’s address, titled “Labor of Love: ‘A Plain Song for Comadre,’” centered on an exposition of Richard Wilbur’s poem, “A Plain Song for Comadre.” The poem asks critical questions about spiritual reality and doubt and comments on the simple work of Bruna Sandoval, a sensible church lady who has cleaned her church for seventeen years. In his exposition of the poem and his charge to Covenant students, Tate encouraged the Covenant community to transform their everyday work into spiritual activity through love.
“Whatever legitimate work you are doing matters as the work God has given you to do,” said Tate. “The work may not look especially spiritual, it may feel like something small, but your doing it matters because it is God’s calling for you.”
After the address, current students, staff, and faculty welcomed the freshman class with a rousing applause. Four new faculty members were installed: Lok Kim, assistant professor of music; Dr. Brianne Kobeck, assistant professor of Spanish; David Tahere, assistant professor of music; and Dr. Carole Yue, assistant professor of psychology. Professor Emeritus Roger Lambert reflected on Covenant College's fifty years on Lookout Mountain, and Rev. Dr. J. Render Caines delivered a charge to students from the Board of Trustees.
The ceremony concluded with the traditional singing of “All for Jesus,” the College hymn. Covenant’s Pipe & Drum Corps led the recessional out of the chapel as students cheered in the start of a new academic year.