Tabor College commencement to be held in-person

Tabor College 2020 commencement ceremony

Updated May 13, 2021: The commencement ceremony has been moved indoors. The ceremony will be held in Richert Auditorium located in the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts. Doors open at 9 a.m. The Symphonic Band Concert begins at 9:30 a.m. and Commencement begins at 10:00 a.m. 

Tabor College will hold its 111th commencement ceremony May 15, 2021, at Joel H. Wiens Stadium at Reimer Field. The Symphonic Band concert begins at 9:30 a.m. and commencement follows at 10:00 a.m.

Tabor College is at its green level in its COVID-19 plan. That means masks will not be mandated and guests will not be required to enter with a ticket or to be screened. Social distancing is encouraged, but is not required. If the COVID-19 level changes, the college will announce what protocols will be in place.
Gary Speese, a 1984 graduate of Tabor College, has been a businessman and an educator. Speese will be the 2021 commencement speaker.

Alumnus Gary Speese of San Diego, Calif., has been chosen as the speaker. Originally from Kansas City, Mo., Speese transferred to Tabor in fall 1981 after spending two years at Wayland Baptist University, studying pre-med and playing basketball. After three years at Tabor, Speese graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and computer science in 1984.

“Among my greatest joys was being on a smaller campus, serving as student body president (1983-84), and connecting with many people from all over the world,” Speese says. “My heart grew closer to God as I continued to live, learn, grow and mature in Christ.”

After Tabor, Speese spent 10 years with IBM in sales, marketing and management and earned a master’s degree from Friends University. He also worked in the technology sector, later migrating to real estate and mortgage banking. With the real estate collapse in 2009, Speese sold off his real estate holdings, as well as the mortgage business, and began looking for his next adventure. God impressed upon his heart to turn his sights toward K-12 education. Speece has served several roles the past 13 years in teaching, student services and administration in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area, and now in San Diego.

“My personal passion still remains to serve God and grow in his character while touching the lives of students, family members, and those that I come in contact with,” he says. “Enjoying the journey in the abundant life of Christ is awesome and worth sharing with the world.”

Besides working with youth, Speese says he continues to walk in love as a dad raising and equipping three daughters ages 23, 26 and 28, all who still live in Minnesota, with the help of their mom.

“Over the years, I have invited successful Tabor alumni as Commencement speakers to demonstrate to our graduates that a Tabor education has value,” President Jules Glanzer says. “Mr. Speese is a gifted communicator, successful businessman and educator. He is a great example of what one can be and become as a Tabor alum.”


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