Hope Graduation Activities Will Be Sunday, May 4
Posted April 7, 2003
HOLLAND -- More than 600 seniors will participate
in Hope College's 138th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May
The Commencement speaker, chosen by the graduating
class, will be Dr. Fred L. Johnson III, assistant professor
of history at Hope. The Baccalaureate sermon will be
delivered by the Rev. Eugene Sutton of Washington, D.C., a
1976 Hope graduate who is canon pastor at Washington
National Cathedral, and director of the Cathedral Center for
Prayer and Pilgrimage.
Commencement will be held on Sunday, May 4, at 3
p.m. in Holland Municipal Stadium. Baccalaureate will be
held on Sunday, May 4, at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in
Dimnent Memorial Chapel.
Johnson joined the Hope faculty in the fall of
2000. His primary field is 19th century U.S. history,
specifically the Confederacy during the Civil War. Other
areas of study include the U.S. in the 20th century, the
U.S. military and Africa.
He is the author of two critically-acclaimed
novels, "A Man Finds His Way," published early this year,
and "Bittersweet," published early in 2002.
Johnson is currently revising his doctoral
dissertation for publication. Titled "The Tracks of War:
Confederate Rail Policy and the Struggle for the Baltimore &
Ohio," it is a case study of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
during the Civil War to determine whether or not, or to what
extent, the Confederate government had a definitive strategy
against it and other United States railroads. He is also
conducting research for a book on the history of U.S.
foreign policy in East Africa since 1945, and is interested
in writing a biography of Henry O. Flipper, who was born a
slave and in 1877 became the first black graduate of the
United States Military Academy at West Point.
Johnson grew up in the Washington, D.C., metro
area. He received his bachelor's degree from Bowie State
College in Maryland, and his master's and doctorate from
Kent State University in Ohio. His past career experiences
include serving as a corporate trainer and as an officer in
the U.S. Marine Corps.
His community involvement includes serving on the
board of the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance.
In addition to serving at Washington National
Cathedral, Sutton is an adjunct member of the faculty of
Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., teaching
courses in spirituality and homiletics. In addition, he co-
founded, and serves on the board of, Contemplative Outreach
of Metropolitan Washington, an ecumenical network of
churches and individuals committed to centering prayer and
other Christian contemplative spiritual practices.
Prior to joining the staff of Washington National
Cathedral, Sutton was the associate for spirituality and
justice at St. Columba's Episcopal Church in Washington,
D.C. He previously served at several other parishes,
including Covenant Community Reformed Church in Muskegon
Heights, and as chaplain of the Episcopal Diocese of New
His past teaching appointments have included
Vanderbilt University Divinity School, General Theological
Seminary in New York City, New Brunswick Theological
Seminary and Muskegon Community College, where he also
served as chaplain.
Sutton spoke during the college's fall, 1993,
Critical Issues Symposium, "Race and Social Change in
America," presenting the address "Been in the Storm So Long:
The Crucible of Race in the Church." He will receive a
Distinguished Alumni Award from the college's Alumni
Association on Saturday, May 3.
He received the master of divinity degree from
Western Theological Seminary, and did graduate studies in
theology and communication at Princeton Theological
In the event of rain, Commencement will be held at
Zeeland High School, located at Riley and 96th Avenue in
Zeeland. Admission to Baccalaureate, and to Commencement if
indoors, is by ticket only.