Share this
April 25, 2017

Roberts Celebrates Spring 2017 Commencement

Roberts Wesleyan College will celebrate its spring commencement on Saturday, May 6, in the Voller Athletic Center on campus, located at 2301 Westside Drive, Rochester N.Y. 14624. Nearly 500 students receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees — as well as family members, friends, faculty and staff — will be on hand to celebrate.

Shirley V. Hoogstra, the seventh — and first female — president of Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, will deliver the keynote address.

Hoogstra received a bachelor’s in education at Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan) and a Juris Doctor with honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and spent more than a decade practicing law as a partner at a firm that specialized in litigation in New Haven, Connecticut. Her full biography can be found here.
During her time in New Haven, she began a season of service at Calvin College. She first served as a co-chair of Calvin’s first endowment drive, Campaign for Calvin, and was subsequently selected to serve on the university’s Board of Trustees from 1995 to 1999. It was then that she sensed God’s call to leave her successful law practice and work for the cause of Christian higher education full time. She became Calvin’s vice president for student life in July 1999, a role she served in until she became president of the CCCU.

Hoogstra now combines her zeal for the rule of law and her passion for Christian higher education as she represents CCCU institutions. The CCCU’s outward-facing work at its intersection with government in Washington, District of Columbia, calls upon Hoogstra’s authentic skills of listening, respecting and influencing leaders as she shares and promotes the importance of Christian colleges and universities as a part of a diverse, pluralistic system of higher education. In an era that has seen a rise in the value of individualism and a decrease in the value of formative communities, Hoogstra delights in highlighting the value and purpose of a high-quality, Christ-centered liberal arts education that shapes the heart, soul and mind.

The master’s degree and adult undergraduate bachelor’s degree ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m., followed by the ceremony for traditional undergraduate bachelor’s degree and BELL graduates at 2:30 p.m. The college’s BELL program — an inclusive postsecondary certificate program for ages 18-26 with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are transitioning to adulthood — will walk in commencement for the second year in a row, making this another inclusive ceremony for Rochester.

For more information about Roberts Wesleyan’s spring commencement, visit

For more news articles, you can take a look at our archive.