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CONTACT: Beth L. Lorow
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Office: (717) 691-6027

Messiah College to celebrate commencement with nearly 700 graduates

GRANTHAM, Pa. (May 11, 2006) — Messiah College invites your coverage of its 97th annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13, at 10 a.m. on the baseball field at Starry Athletic Complex, located on the college’s Grantham campus. In the case of inclement weather, the ceremony schedule may be adjusted. To verify schedule changes, please call (717) 691-6084 on the morning of commencement or visit the college’s website at

With a graduating class of nearly 700 students, Messiah College anticipates a total commencement crowd of more than 6,000 people. The speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony will be Charles Marsh, professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia and director of the Project on Lived Theology.

A respected author and professor, Marsh will deliver the commencement address based on President Kim S. Phipps’ inaugural theme: “Created and Called for Community.” Weaving personal accounts of growing up in a small southern town during the civil rights movement with scholarly research about this critical time in American history, Marsh has authored several books, including his most recent work, “The Beloved Community: How Faith Shapes Social Justice, from the Civil Rights Movement to Today.” Other notable books include “God’s Long Summer: Stories of Faith and Civil Rights,” his memoir “The Last Day: A Son’s Story of Sin,” and “Segregation at the Dawn of a New South.”

As director of the Project on Lived Theology, Marsh leads a research-based initiative designed to understand how theological commitments shape the social patterns and practices of religious communities. His interest in understanding people’s religious commitments and convictions stems from his childhood as a minister’s son living in Alabama and Mississippi during the final years of Jim Crow. For more information about Marsh, visit Messiah’s commencement website at

Messiah College, a private Christian college of the liberal and applied arts and sciences, enrolls more than 2,900 undergraduate students in 50 majors. Established in 1909, the primary campus is located in Grantham, Pa., near the state capital of Harrisburg. A satellite campus affiliated with Temple University is located in Philadelphia.

Directions to Starry Athletic Complex, at Messiah College: From Harrisburg, head south on Route 15 to Lisburn Road exit. At the light at the bottom of the exit ramp, turn left onto Lisburn Road and proceed straight through the next traffic light. At stop sign, proceed straight and then turn right at the bottom of the hill onto Grantham Road. Turn right at first stop sign onto College Avenue. Go straight at the next stop sign and continue straight to second stop sign. Make a left onto Creekside Drive. Starry Fields are located across the stream from the covered bridge. During commencement, visitors must use the main entrance to the college and media must show press credentials to park at Starry Athletic Complex.
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