Speakers

Commencement Speaker
Timothy Peelen, Ph.D.

Dr. Timothy Peelen, associate professor of chemistry, has spent the past 10 years facilitating student research, and mentoring students who have continued on to work in industry and attend top-tier graduate programs.

He has been awarded four nationally competitive external grants that total more than a half million dollars, most recently from the National Science Foundation to support multiple LVC science students in a 10-week international undergraduate research experience in Budapest, Hungary over three years, ending in 2017.

Dr. Peelen's personal research focuses on the development of asymmetric reactions catalyzed by simple organic molecules (organocatalysts) and light-driven reactions catalyzed by copper complexes.

Dr. Peelen received his bachelor of science degree from Calvin College and his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He was a National Institute of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Peelen lives in Lebanon with his wife, Dora, and their three children.

Baccalaureate Speaker
Carolyn Gillette '82

Carolyn Gillette ’82 grew up in a family that was, and continues to be, active in the United Methodist Church. She remembers being a very small child and standing on the pew next to her parents and brother in worship, holding a hymnal (before she could even read it), and trying to sing along as the congregation sang the beloved hymns of the Christian faith.

Gillette was confirmed in the United Methodist Church and graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 1982. She received her M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1985. She met her husband, Bruce Gillette, at Princeton Seminary and was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in 1986. After graduation, they both served churches in New Jersey for about 19 years—first serving in separate congregations and then as co-pastors. Gillette also has served as a hospital chaplain and a hospice chaplain.

Gillette started writing hymn texts in 1998 while attending Synod School, a summer church conference of the Synod of the Trinity of the Presbyterian Church. Her hymns have been sung by congregations in every state of the U.S.A. and in several other countries; they have been on national PBS-TV three times and the BBC-TV in the United Kingdom. Noel Paul Stookey of “Peter, Paul and Mary” made a music video with Emmy winner Pete Staman of her hymn, “O God, Our Words Cannot Express,” which was written on Sept. 11. Her hymns are found on the national websites of numerous churches and other organizations, and have appeared in books and magazines.

Gillette and her husband have been the co-pastors of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Del., since August 2004. They are the parents of three children (John, Catherine, and Sarah). Gillette has led workshops around the country on hymns, church music, creation care, and family ministries.

Visit www.carolynshymns.com to learn more about her work.