AU Announces Speakers and Honorees for 2019 Graduation

Anderson, Ind. — Anderson University will honor distinguished alumni, friends, and graduates on campus during the Baccalaureate and Commencement services on Saturday, May 11. The Baccalaureate Service will take place at 10 a.m. in Reardon Auditorium. The Commencement Service will follow at 3 p.m. at the Ward Fieldhouse in the Kardatzke Wellness Center.

“All of us at Anderson University are excited about this year’s Commencement and Baccalaureate programs, celebrating over a century of outstanding Christian higher education,” said President John Pistole.

Kylee Larson will be the Baccalaureate speaker. Larson is the Director of Next Steps and Online Ministries at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis. She graduated from AU’s School of Theology in 2010 with her master’s in theological studies. She is passionate about inviting every person to the “more” God has for them.

AU will honor the Commencement speaker, Governor Eric Holcomb with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. C-SPAN will be covering his address. Two notable Anderson community leaders will be recognized as well, Beth Tharp and Bob Blume, with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

  • Beth Tharp AS ‘80, MBA ‘05 is President and CEO at Community Hospital Anderson. She was named 2012 Nurse of the Year by the Indianapolis Star for her leadership and advancement in nursing. Throughout her career, she helped to establish the Center for Advanced Wound Healing and Clinical Research Center at Community Hospital Anderson. On top of it all, she serves on the board for United Way, Madison County Health Partners, Corporation of Economic Development, and is a member of Rotary Club.
  • Bob Blume is the Founder and Executive Direct of Man4Man Ministries in Anderson, a non-denominational ministry serving men in transition from incarceration to freedom in Christ. He was named the Herald Bulletin’s Person of the Year in 2014. Bob is an educator, businessman, athlete, coach, and ministry leader. He has even done some significant work toward racial reconciliation.

The full commencement schedule and updates can be found at

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.

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