On May 31, 2018, families, friends, graduates, faculty, and staff all gathered at College Church to celebrate the commencement of the 79 graduates in Wheaton Christian Grammar School's Class of 2018. This time included special music from the instrumental and vocal ensembles, student testimonies, prayers from graduate parents, awarding of diplomas, and words of encouragement from commencement speaker, Mike English.
The theme of Mike English's speech was "Two Celebrations and Two Invitations." As he began, he urged everyone to slow down for a moment and focus on the meaning of why they were all there. His intent was to make sure that the ceremonial process did not supersede the meaning and significance of the graduation event.
"In a few minutes, right about at this spot on the stage, we are going to have the opportunity to participate in two separate celebrations. The handshake on this stage is a symbol that you have completed all of the requirements to be called a graduate of WCGS. And, at nearly the same time as the handshake ends, you are going to extend your left hand and Mr. Rathbun is going to hand you your diploma, and a second celebration begins with your commencement."
As these students are stepping into the next part of their education, Mike offered them two invitations. The first, to accept Christ’s invitation to be on His team, and the second that they are always invited back to the knowledge they gained about God’s Word through lessons in classes and from teachers during their time at WCGS. He reminded the Class of 2018 that they have been given a skillset and foundation that will help them through the rest of their lives.
As Mike concluded, he read a compilation of verses to the Class of 2018:
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…so, Class of 2018, throw off everything that slows you down and run with endurance the race marked out for you…and fix your eyes on Jesus…because he has shown you what is good…and to whom much as been given, much is required. Love the Lord your God, love your neighbor, fight the good fight, and run the race…to win! (Jer. 29:11, Heb. 12:1, Micah 6:8, Luke 12:48, Matt. 22:37-39, 1 Tim. 6:12, 1 Cor. 9:24)”
Mr. Clum concluded the evening recognizing departing faculty and staff, as well as thanking parents for investing in their children’s lives. 41 out of the 79 graduates are the last of their families to attend WCGS, with all their families combined adding up to 371 years at Wheaton Christian Grammar School. Two graduating families have had at least one child in school at WCGS for 20 years! What a legacy. There were many tears after the 8th grade reception as students and parents were struggling to walk out of the school for the last time.
In this year’s graduating class, 70% of students graduated with High Honor Roll or Honor Roll. Students will be dispersed in the fall among 10 different high schools including Wheaton Academy, Wheaton North, and a variety of other local schools.
The Class of 2018 is special to Wheaton Christian Grammar School as they are the last students to have attended WCGS at the 530 Harrison building. There are many new beginnings for both the graduates and WCGS as we welcome a new generation of students through our school. Past and present, God remains at the center of WCGS and we give Him all the glory and honor for all that has been and will be done at Wheaton Christian Grammar School. Congratulations, Class of 2018!