This past weekend was Senior Banquet for the Christian Student Center at Purdue. This year we are graduating our first class of students. It is crazy to think that just four years ago we began this journey. A lot happened that first year that we were here adjusting to life as Campus Ministers and Newlyweds in a new state, although it was still in the midwest so that wasn't that big of an adjustment.
It is hard to believe that we have journeyed with these students for four years of their lives, we have laughed with them, cried with them, rejoiced and joked with them, supported and challenged them. Never did I think that we could fall in love with this minstry the way we have. We spend countless hours a week, thinking about, worrying about, praying for these students as if they are our own.
The Senior banquet is one of my favorite events each year. It is so neat to see the students interact with the Elmwood members, some of them for the last time as Purdue students. This year it was made even more special when Phil invited the graduating seniors to invite their families to join us. We had several students parents, siblings and grandparents join us to bid these students farewell.
We have 13 students graduating or otherwise moving on from Purdue this spring. Here they are in all their glory: Alex, Brendan, Brian, Jeremy, Derek, Kim, Caleb, Kacey, Chelsea, Emily, Susu, Amy and Jen -
Here is a picture of Phil and I with all of the students who attended the banquet. It was a great time and we enjoyed hearing stories from students about our graduating seniors, watching a picture slideshow and sharing memories together over a delicious meal.
Phil and I have enjoyed being adoptive parents to Jen. The adopted parent program is a great way to get our Elmwood church members involved in the lives of our students. We assign them at the beginning of the year and we encourage members to invite the students into their families. We have tried to be that to Jen, even though her parents live in town, we enjoyed spending quality time with her. Lucky for us she won't be going anyway for a few years. She is marrying her high school sweetheart and then they will be sticking around while Patrick works on a Masters here at Purdue! Joel is super excited that they are sticking around!
We are so proud of all of our students but especially this, our first, graduating class! Congratulations, best of luck and know you always have a home here at Elmwood!