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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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5/6/2005 Syrian pastor to present baccalaureate address

McMINNVILLE -- Roula Alkhouri, associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Bend, will present the address at baccalaureate services to Linfield College graduates Saturday, May 28, at 6 p.m. in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium.

Alkhouri is originally from Damascus, Syria, and is the first Syrian woman to be ordained as clergy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Damascus and a master of divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Alkhouri has published several articles in several church publications. She has also led many workshops and travel seminars around the country on women’s issues and Middle East peace. She has a strong commitment to spirituality, interfaith work, social and economic justice as strong foundations for peaceful communities.

"Baccalaureate is intended to be a spiritual exclamation point to our academic pilgrimage, one that gives thanks for the awareness and knowledge we have gained and anticipates, through hope and prayer, the challenges yet to come," said David Massey, Linfield College chaplain who will preside over the service.

The Linfield Baccalaureate Brass, under the direction of Joan Haaland Paddock, associate professor of music, and the Linfield Concert Choir, directed by Larry Marsh, professor of music, will perform. A number of graduating seniors will also participate in the program, presenting readings and prayers.

Baccalaureate services precede Linfield’s commencement exercises which will be held Sunday, May 29, at 10 a.m. in the Oak Grove.

Baccalaureate has existed for centuries in colleges and universities as a time of worship for graduating members of the senior class. College officials, faculty and graduating seniors wear academic dress for the occasion. Linfield’s baccalaureate service is ordered according to the traditions within Protestant Christianity and strives to touch the universal themes of common humanity that can be found in all of the world’s great religions.