This video features Jami Reimer (CMU ’14) in performance at With Gratitude, April 26, 2014. With Gratitude is a CMU graduation weekend event at which class members share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance. The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff, and affords graduates a valuable opportunity to showcase what their studies have meant to them.
Here, Jami offers a dramatic rendition of Medtner’s Fairy Tale, Op. 20, No. 1
Jami Reimer, pianist
Bachelor of Music
Concentration: Music Education
This video features Josiah Brubacher (CMU ’14) at With Gratitude, April 26, 2014, a CMU graduation weekend event at which class members share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance. The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff, and affords graduates a valuable opportunity to showcase what their studies have meant to them.
Here, Jami Reimer provides Joshiah with piano accompaniment for a performance of Johannes Brahms’ Die Meinacht.
Josiah Brubacher, tenor
Bachelor of Music
Concentration: Music Education
This video features Kristen Wiltshire (CMU ’14) at With Gratitude, April 26, 2014. With Gratitude is a CMU graduation weekend event at which class members share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance. The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff, and affords graduates a valuable opportunity to showcase what their studies have meant to them.
Here, Kristen talks about how her studies in Peace and Conflict Transformation at CMU have shaped and reshaped her understanding of what peace and conflict really are, what it means to build peace in a pluralistic society, and what it takes to be peace-loving in thought, word and deed.
Bachelor of Arts, 4 Year
Major: Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies
This video features Natalia Dyck (CMU ’14) at With Gratitude, April 26, 2014. With Gratitude is a CMU graduation weekend event at which class members share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance. The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff, and affords graduates a valuable opportunity to showcase what their studies have meant to them.
Here, Natalia expresses her thankfulness for the wealth of stories to which her program at CMU exposed her, the increased capacity for insight in literature that it afforded her, and the way it taught her not only to read for character development and parallel structure, but also for the presence of God.
Bachelor of Arts, 4 Year
This video features Simon Hamm (CMU ’14) at With Gratitude, April 26, 2014. With Gratitude is a CMU graduation weekend event at which class members share their experiences through spoken word or musical performance. The event brings together family members, graduates, students, faculty, and staff, and affords graduates a valuable opportunity to showcase what their studies have meant to them. Here, Simon reflects on the deep appreciation that his Mathematical studies at CMU have given him for the Unreasonable Effectiveness of studying that which is fascinating and delightful before that which is “practical”.
Bachelor of Arts, 4 Year
Majors: Mathematics, Biblical and Theological Studies
Eighty degrees, two certificates awarded during university’s fourteenth annual Commencement Exercises Winnipeg – Make the future a figment of your imagination. That was the message delivered to 80 graduates at Canadian Mennonite University’s graduation service this past weekend.
“Faith in God compels us to imagine what the kingdom of God in our wildest dreams could be,” Rev. Don Friesen said during his address at the event, held on Sunday afternoon, April 27, at Immanuel Pentecostal Church. “Imagination looks at the world as it is, and seeks to reshape that reality.”
Friesen, who was the lead pastor at Ottawa Mennonite Church for more than 30 years before retiring in 2012, encouraged graduates to envision human community as a place to find hope and healing – a place where fears and prejudices diminish.
“Imaginative visions will help us to become, as a hymn expresses it, a welcome ‘promise of the new humanity,” Friesen said.
It was an inspiring message delivered toward the end of a weekend filled with reflection, laughter, and tears as graduates and families enjoyed stories, songs, presentations, and meals along with CMU faculty, staff, and current students.
During his valedictory address, Scott Sawatzky (BA, Four-Year, English Major) said that studying literature at CMU had taught him the difference between “easy meaning and difficult, nuanced, complicated meaning.” Easy meaning is what children are so often given, he explained, while good literature, like life, rarely offers such clear direction.
“All of this is to say that, as we move from the academics and relationships that have marked our studies here at CMU, let us never forget to revisit and rethink what we’ve learned, to see old things with new eyes and new things with old eyes,” Sawatzky said. “Let us enact what we have learned here in a way that is never static but always grounded, never satisfied but always loving.”
Presiding over graduation ceremonies for her second time as President, Dr. Cheryl Pauls conferred 78 undergraduate degrees, two Master of Arts degrees, and two certificates in Biblical and Theological Studies – one at the undergraduate level, and the other at the graduate level.
Pauls also awarded President’s Medals to Sawatzky the valedictorian as well as Justin Rempel (BA, Four-Year, English Major) in recognition of their qualities of scholarship, leadership, and service.
“This is a time of celebration,” Pauls said.
Reflecting on his time at CMU during a chapel presentation at the end of the school year, Blayne Stobbe (BA, Three-Year, English and History Majors) said he came to the university uncertain of what he was looking for.
“I am leaving CMU with the opposite,” said Stobbe, who plans to become a teacher. “I am leaving with answers to some of my questions, but with many more poignant and tough questions to work through and a drive to discover more answers. … I am leaving with a passion to learn that burns more brightly than when I began.”
During the same chapel, Danielle Bailey (BA, Four-Year, Biblical and Theological Studies and Social Science-Counselling Majors) shared how CMU’s community had changed her in profound ways.
“My professors, mentors, and peers kept encouraging me to think about pastoral ministry. I scoffed, but slowly this Anabaptist theology began seeping into my bones, and gradually I decided to listen to the voice of the Spirit, speaking through the people around me,” said Bailey, who was offered a part-time position as pastoral associate at Springstein Mennonite Church in Springstein, Man. after completing a practicum placement there as part of her degree.
“I have been openly welcomed and encouraged to use my leadership gifts.”
The Graduation Service was the last of a number of events that occurred during graduation weekend, including a gala dinner on Friday, April 25, CMU’s annual In Gratitude presentation and Spring Concert on Saturday, April 26, and the Baccalaureate Service the morning of April 27.
Nicole Richard and David Thiessen take home President’s Medals for scholarship, leadership, and service
Winnipeg, May 3, 2012 – Nicole Richard and David Thiessen are the 2013 recipients of Canadian Mennonite University’s (CMU) President’s Medals.
CMU President Cheryl Pauls awarded the medals during CMU’s 2013 Graduation Exercises this past Sunday, April 28. Richard, who graduated with a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree, and Thiessen, who graduated with a four-year Honours BA in Biblical and Theological Studies, received the award in recognition of their qualities of scholarship, leadership, and service.
“I was very honoured to receive it,” Richard says. “I was a little surprised … because I know there are a lot of students that really deserved it.”
Richard, 23, and Thiessen, 21, were chosen from a group of 93 graduates.
“Nicole and David are incredibly fine people,” Pauls says. “For those of us who teach and work at CMU, they humble us and exemplify the best ideals of the mission and vision of CMU, which is to inspire and equip women and men for lives of service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society. Students like Nicole and David don’t merely live out the CMU mission; they extend it beyond what we’ve already seen and imagined. In turn, they are the ones who inspire and equip faculty and staff.”
The selection process focuses especially on students whose academic achievements are matched by their growth as well as potential in the practical application of their education.
While at CMU, Richard—who has a broad musical background that includes playing violin for 19 years, as well as the piano and guitar—led a Fellowship Group and worked as a tutor. She is also involved with leading music at her church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and volunteers with Faith and Light, a L’Arche outreach for people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
Thiessen was also involved with music during his time at CMU, playing guitar in a number of worship bands. His involvement in his home congregation, McIvor Avenue Mennonite Brethren, includes volunteering as a youth group leader as well as working to establish a young adults group. He has also participated two short-term missions trips to Peru with MB Mission, a Mennonite Brethren organization that supports international and local missionaries worldwide.
He is currently speaking with MB Mission leaders about the possibility of doing an apprenticeship with the organization.
Richard, meanwhile, will move to Kitchener, Ont. in September for an eight-month internship with kidsLink, an organization that offers multi-disciplinary services for children who have mental health issues.
Both describe their time at CMU as transformative.
“Being in class reminded me of how particular my own perspective is,” Thiessen says, adding that engaging with faculty and fellow students challenged that perspective. “It really broadened out the way I see the world and the way I see my own tradition within it.”
Richard also describes the conversations she had with fellow students as a highlight of her time at the university.
“Being a Roman Catholic at a Mennonite university has been really neat,” she says. “I’ve enjoyed such excellent conversations with people where we’ve been able to share our own faith experiences … [and] the different ways God has led us from different backgrounds. That’s been really inspiring for me.”
Dr. Cheryl Pauls awards 95 degrees, two certificates during first Graduation Service as CMU’s president
Winnipeg, April 29, 2013 – Canadian Mennonite University recognized the accomplishments of its students this past weekend, awarding degrees to 95 graduates and presenting program certificates to two recipients during its 2013 Graduation Exercises.
The event, held on Sunday afternoon, April 28, at Immanuel Pentecostal Church, was the culmination of a weekend filled with reflection, laughter, and tears as graduates and families enjoyed times of sharing through stories, songs, presentations, and meals along with CMU faculty, staff, and current students.
Presiding over graduation ceremonies for the first time, Dr. Cheryl Pauls—who became President of CMU this past November—welcomed everyone to the event by saying CMU faculty and staff felt honoured to celebrate the graduates’ achievements.
“These are people who have blessed us with their stories and insights, their passion and inventiveness,” she said. “These are people whose imaginations for new possibilities, and faithfulness as citizens of God’s world, have been growing at much the same rate. For all of these things, we are grateful to God.”
Raya Cornelsen (BA, Four-Year, Mathematics Major) gave the Valedictory Address, speaking about conversation as “the greatest catalyst for change and personal or professional development,” and elaborating that CMU has helped each graduate hone their conversation skills.
She encouraged her fellow graduates to keep having conversations that include reflection, engagement, vulnerability, and excitement.
“As we leave CMU today, we cannot cut off and lock away all that we have learned, experienced, and want to share,” she said. “We are the voices—the pastors, the teachers, the counsellors, the leaders, and yes, even the baristas—who will carry on the least and the greatest conversations that this world has ever known.”
Dr. Reg Litz, a professor at the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business, delivered the Graduation Address. Litz encouraged graduates to “think small”—tackle large problems by breaking them into little pieces, and then get one small thing done at a time. This builds momentum that eventually will help get big things done.
This way of thinking will help graduates as they face a world where things like global warming, fiscal deficits, and political instability are realities.
“We do have some big problems—after all, this is a fallen world,” Litz said. “But that said, we are not alone, and our choices matter.”
“Small wins before a big God are still wins that matter,” he added, before congratulating the graduates for their achievements.
“I encourage you to build on the foundation CMU has helped you lay,” Litz said. “I believe that as you look and act, He who calls you will help you find [the] way.”
In addition to conferring 95 degrees and two certificates, Pauls also awarded President’s Medals to Nicole Richard (Bachelor of Music Therapy) and David Thiessen (BA, Four-Year Honours, Biblical and Theological Studies Major) in recognition of their qualities of scholarship, leadership, and service.
The April 28 Graduation Service was the culmination of a number of other events that made the weekend special for graduates and their families, as well as for current students and visitors. These included a gala dinner Friday, April 26, CMU’s annual In Gratitude presentation and Spring Concert on Saturday, April 27, and the Baccalaureate Service the morning of April 28.
Winnipeg, April 23, 2013 – Stories of love, hope, community and transformation characterized the 2012/2013 Outtatown Discipleship School Graduation Celebration on Sunday, April 14 as 61 young people graduated from the program.
“For years to come, we will be influenced by the experiences we’ve had as a community, as well as the things we have learned individually,” Ross van Gaalen, a student from Outtatown’s Site 2 South Africa group, shared with the crowd of family and friends who gathered to welcome the students back home after their semester abroad.
“No matter how impactful our relationships have been, no matter which crazy stories will stick with us, and no matter which lessons or insights will affect us most deeply, I believe this year has made us all better prepared to face the rest of our lives.”
Bethany Bustard, a leader from Outtatown’s Site 1 Guatemala group, shared that she and the students learned of God’s transformative love during their time together.
“God’s love is not passive or timid,” Bustard said. “It is a powerful and active force as Christ offers to live in us, place his love in our hearts, and empowers us to go forward giving, receiving, and finding love in both expected and unexpected places.”
The celebration included a time for worship as well as a message by Outtatown instructor Nathan Rieger, who challenged graduates to use their experiences from the program to look at the world differently.
“You have to see differently – that is the core of discipleship,” Rieger said. “To say, ‘Jesus, I want to see with your eyes.’”
Before praying for the graduates, CMU President Cheryl Pauls likened the university to a rich mosaic and spoke of Outtatown’s place in the mosaic.
“Outtatown is definitely a vital part of what makes it glistening and gritty, real and holy,” Pauls said.
Reflecting on the stories he heard students sharing about their experiences, Outtatown Director Cam Priebe said common themes included hope, freedom, and the value of learning in community.
“Our own journey impacts those around us, and their journey impacts ours,” Priebe said, pointing to Outtatown’s mission to inspire students in their life of discipleship with Jesus Christ in a journey towards knowing God, knowing yourself, and knowing the world.
“When that’s done on an individual level, it’s one thing,” Priebe said. “But when it’s done with others, there’s incredible value in that.”
In addition to the South Africa and Guatemala teams, this year’s Outtatown program also included a team that traveled to Burkina Faso. That team graduated this past December.
The Outtatown Discipleship School is a unique and enriching program of serving and learning for students seeking a life-changing experience of adventure, travel, service, and Christian studies.
Through participation in Outtatown, students may earn up to 18 university credit hours for the academic work completed during their programs. Outtatown offers two-semester programs at site locations in Guatemala and South Africa, and a one-semester program in French Africa.
On June 9, 2011, Menno Simons College celebrated the achievements of 66 Class of 2011winter and spring graduates in Conflict Resolution Studies (CRS) and International Development Studies (IDS). The Menno Simons College (MSC) celebration was held in UWinnipeg’s Convocation Hall, following the morning convocation services.
Menno Simons College is the downtown campus of Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) and is located at and affiliated with The University of Winnipeg.
“We gather to acknowledge years of hard work, laughter, and friendship at this celebration of light and hope,” says Dean of Menno Simons College Dr. Richard McCutcheon. “We are proud of our graduates and we want to welcome them into our Menno Simons College alumni group. We look forward to following their careers in peace and justice work, international development, and conflict resolution.”
In the tradition of MSC past graduations, students and families shared a luncheon meal followed by a graduation program. Among the year’s graduates were seven MSC students with majors in CRS or IDS who in total earned nine medals at UWinnipeg’s morning convocation.
The MSC program opened with a heartfelt invocation by Dr. John Derksen, Associate Professor, Conflict Resolution Studies, and opening remarks by CMU President Gerald Gerbrandt, who expressed his confidence in the Class of 2011 having “a passion for issues of justice and mercy, and skills to make a difference in the world.”
Guest speaker Lois Coleman Neufeld, Executive Director, Mediation Services, remarked, “I believe you have learned the basics of leadership through your courses, and have the skills of leaders.” She highlighted having a profound respect “for the other” as being of great importance, along with the qualities of passion and compassion. “Take the best of what you have learned and use it for others,” she advised the graduates.
Sharing student reflections were graduates (Roberta) Bobbie Whiteman, 4-yr. IDS and Human Rights graduate, and medal winner Zoë Gross, 4-yr. CRS graduate, majoring in Women’s Studies.
Whiteman expressed her appreciation for MSC tuition and travel awards that helped the single mom complete her education. Gross commented, “What is special about MSC is that even if you don’t enter with a concern for conflict resolution and justice, you leave with passion and hope for a (better) world.”
Academic Advisor Gina Loewen, Associate VP Ruth Taronno, and Dean McCutcheon. presented the 2011 Graduating Class.
Graduate Jared Wheeler (3-Yr., CRS/IDS Double Major) originally expected to take one course at MSC as an option. Says Wheeler: “I was hooked on the program right from the introductory course. MSC offered such a welcoming environment. And happily, that first course led me on to International Development Studies. It opened to me the thinking that we could change the world. It is possible.”
In addition to MSC’s graduation class of 66 students, CMU earlier this spring graduated 78 students at its southwest Winnipeg Shaftesbury campus, for a total of 114 graduates. An additional 64 Outtatown students completed international programs, returning from sites in South Africa and Guatemala.
Menno Simons College is one of the world’s largest centres for peace and justice studies. The College provides education flowing from Anabaptist Mennonite understandings of faith, peace, and justice while engaging other religious traditions and intellectual perspectives. MSC fosters a learning community that prepares students from diverse backgrounds for participation and leadership in local and global communities. Considered a pioneer in International Development Studies and Conflict Resolution Studies, MSC offers a wide range of courses and experienced faculty in these areas, along with practicum opportunities and supporting scholarships.
Canadian Mennonite University offers undergraduate degree programs and two graduate degree programs. CMU has over 1,700 students at its Shaftesbury campus, downtown MSC campus, and in its Outtatown international program. A member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) , CMU operates a number of schools and institutes, including the Canadian School of Peacebuilding.