Graduating Students Share Their Journeys of Faith

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There was a hush during Marsh Chapel’s weekly interdenominational service this past Sunday, as five members of BU’s Class of 2019 stood before the congregation and shared personal reflections about their spiritual journeys as undergraduate and graduate students at BU.

“This I Believe” Sunday is a tradition that began in 1982, as a way to give students active in the Marsh Chapel community a forum to share publicly how their spiritual lives had been shaped at BU. Today, students from all of the University’s schools and colleges, whatever their faith tradition, are invited in the spring to submit an outline for a proposed talk. Several are then chosen by chapel staff, and they address the Marsh Chapel congregation on the Sunday before Commencement.

In the video above, Jonathan Allen (LAW’19) shares his belief that “our diversity is our strength and power…that all things are possible and that with the power of possibility we can create a more just and equitable world.”

Jonathan Allen (LAW’19)

During his time at BU, Jonathan Allen cofounded the nonprofit Leadership Brainery, which is a pipeline for first-generation and diverse college student leaders to gain access to top graduate and professional schools. Allen, who earned an undergraduate degree from Grambling State University and a master’s in theological studies from Southern Methodist University before enrolling at BU, plans to seek public office after graduation.

In the video above, Carolyn Hoffman (CAS’19) reflects on her personal experience with depression and her belief that by “sharing our stories [we can] eliminate once and for all the silent suffering of those with mental illness.”

Carolyn Hoffman (CAS’19)

Carolyn Hoffman, a Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies international relations major, has worked as a resettlement–community services intern with the International Institute of New England and as a student intern with Doctors with Africa CUAMM in Padua, Italy. She also received a Yawkey Nonprofit Internship Award, which allowed her to work as an intern with the African Food and Peace Foundation. During her four years at BU, she worked as an admissions ambassador and a School of Public Health research assistant. After earning a master’s at SPH next year, Hoffman plans to attend law school.

In the video above, Katherine Ward (ENG’19) speaks about Marsh Chapel’s integral role in her life at BU.

Katherine Ward (ENG’19)

For biomedical engineering major Katherine Ward, her undergrad journey and her spiritual journey are inseparable. She attended services at Marsh Chapel her first Sunday on campus and discovered a community that became “my home away from home.” A resident assistant at 10 Buick Street and a former College of Engineering Lutchen Research Fellow, Ward will begin a job as a software quality assurance engineer at Philips Healthcare in San Diego following Commencement.

In the video above, Karey Statin (CAS’18, MET’19) talks about the importance of being willing to change in order to achieve one’s true potential.

Karey Statin (CAS’18, MET’19)

Karey Statin believes deeply that by working together, we can overcome political challenges, eradicate racism and disease, and solve other pressing social issues. Statin, a College of Arts & Sciences political science grad, earned a master’s degree in urban affairs this year. He already has his sights on his next degree—a PhD in African American studies.

In the video above, Denise-Nicole Stone (CAS’19) reflects on the importance of bearing witness.

Denise-Nicole Stone (CAS’19)

During her years as a BU undergrad, Denise-Nicole Stone has traveled the world: Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. And she won’t stop now. An international relations major at the Pardee School of Global Studies, she has already planned her first post-Commencement trip: to Colombia, where she plans to work on her Spanish. In her travels, she’s had a chance to witness firsthand the ways people come together to heal as well as their capacity to do grave harm to one another. That exposure to the best and worst of humanity has led her to refine what she believes in. As Stone leaves BU, she says, she looks forward to discovering how her beliefs will continue to evolve.

Find more information about Commencement on the Commencement website.