Graduates celebrate at the end of each service by participating in TMU’s annual Gate Ceremony, a tradition that symbolizes students being sent into the world to share the Gospel of Christ.

Truett McConnell University (TMU) celebrated its largest graduation ceremony in history on May 13, 2023, with a total of 207 graduating candidates. The ceremony was held inside The George Blaurock Student Wellness Center and was divided into two separate ceremonies.

Vice President Jenni Shepard began each ceremony by recognizing the faculty, staff, parents, and family who have supported and guided the graduates over the years. “The strong influences you have each had on these graduates are the reason we are here today.”

Dr. Emir Caner, President of TMU, addressed the graduates, stating that the day was an opportunity to honor the Lord Jesus and the graduates’ accomplishments. He acknowledged the graduating class by saying, “[they] have worked tirelessly to reach this significant point in their lives and deserved to be celebrated.” In conclusion of his address, Caner reminded the graduates that “although they would face struggles and difficulties in life, they could rely on God’s grace to overcome them and achieve victories beyond their imagination.”

The ceremony proceeded with Dean of the Felix Manz School of Music Dr. Ken Gabrielse leading the audience in the university hymn, God’s Word Stands Sure Forever. Then, Vice President for Academic Services Dr. Brad Reynolds presented the bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates to the President, who awarded them their degrees as they walked across the platform.

The first commencement ceremony recognized graduates from from the Felix Manz School of Music, the Conrad Grebel School of The Humanities, the Peter and Gredel Walpot School of Education, the Hans Hut School of Business, and the Pilgram Marpeck School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The second commencement ceremony recognized graduates from the Balthasar Hubmaier School of Theology and Missions, the Leonhard Schiemer School of Psychology and Biblical Counseling, the Martha Rielin and Elizabeth Salmen School of Nursing, the Michael Sattler School of Public Service, and the Hans Denck School of Communication.

Following each service, attendees were invited to watch each graduating class take part in the Gate Ceremony–a tradition symbolizing students being sent into the world to share the Gospel of Christ.

Check out our TMU Facebook Page to see more photos from Saturday’s services.


Jenny Gregory is the Director of Marketing and Communications at TMU.

Photos / Tom Askew Photography

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