On Saturday, May 15, Ashland Theological Seminary held its 2021 Commencement—a slightly modified affair, allowing for social distancing amid still-ongoing COVID-19 protocols. Despite the restrictions, there was great joy in the room as graduates from late 2019, 2020 and 2021 were finally able to participate in their commencement ceremony.
Delivering the commencement address was Brethren elder and long-time professor at ATS, Brenda Colijn. As Dr. Colijn prepares for retirement from her work at ATS, she leaves behind her a vast contribution to both the Brethren movement at large, as well as our seminary. In his introduction of Dr. Colijn, Dr. Bill Myers noted,
"Brenda has served well her own denomination. An elder in The Brethren Church, member of NABCE, and held so many different positions in that church—the esteemed church that birthed this seminary. She has done it all. The thing I can say about Brenda is she has served with that quiet, Brethren spirit. The likes of Joe and John Shultz, Fred Finks, Jerry Flora, Richard Allison, Dale Stoffer. Brenda, I remember all of those, and I remember you in that spirit. As I used to say to Dale often, for those of us that are not Brethren, we thank the Brethren for allowing us to come into their house, and serve alongside them."