YOUNG ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
Assistant Professor Kyle Vegh ’15 says he loves his role as a “small piece of that growth mechanism which is Grace Christian University.”
But in addition to seeing students grow, Kyle sees immense growth in himself socially, personally, and spiritually.
“[I’m] able to be a better spouse, be a better worker, be a better family member, be a better friend because of that growth I’ve experienced through my time at Grace.”
Kyle earned an MA from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in 2017. He teaches Biblical Interpretation, as well as theology and Greek courses.
ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
Jim Molenkamp spent the ’75–’76 school year at Grace playing basketball and building lifelong friendships before transferring to Michigan State University for a business degree. But he never really left Grace. Jim worked as a recruiter, dorm supervisor, business manager, and even taught business courses under three Grace presidents.
Jim married Kathy Kemper after touring with the Grace Singers. And he worked at Grace Ministries International for 23 years as the business manager before retiring in 2019.
“People mentored me,” Jim says. “I just really appreciated them and I looked up to them.”
ALUMNA OF THE YEAR
Kathy (Kemper) Molenkamp ’83 earned a BRE from Grace and a bachelor’s in education from Calvin University.
“I’ve always been . . . happy to be studying theology,” Kathy says. “I had nothing but the highest respect and esteem for my professors.”
Kathy says those professors always encouraged her theological study—“even though I was a girl.”
For 25 years, Kathy served as the director of library services and taught literature and education courses. She’s been volunteering with Grace Gospel Fellowship and the Association for Biblical Higher Education for over 30 years.
YOUNG ALUMNA OF THE YEAR
Anna Lange ’16 teaches English at Saraland High School in Mobile, Alabama, but her mission, mentoring students, goes beyond grammar.
Anna received the T. R. Houston Christian Service Award before graduating from Grace with a BRE, and a BS in Secondary Education from Cornerstone University in 2016. She earned an MA in Professional Writing from Liberty University in 2019. In 2021, Anna was recognized as the Saraland High School Teacher of the Year and Saraland City Schools District Teacher of the Year.
My prayer for our class today is that we will go out and live as people full of Grace and love. That we will serve church and society as members of a holy priesthood set apart for God’s good work. That we will claim our identities as his child to live authentically, love boldly, and serve graciously.
Nat Mercer ’21, B.S. Biblical Studies, Pastoral concentration, High Honors
2021 Commencement Speaker | Undergraduate
ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
After earning advanced degrees in counseling and health psychology, Kizombo became a Grace adjunct professor. He leads International Berean Ministries, which his parents established, and pastors at Tabernacle Community Church in Grand Rapids—a church he and his wife, Carrie, started in 2002.
“I feel blessed to be able to participate in the formation of other peoples’ lives,” Kizombo says. “And impacting the world for greater glory—the glory of Jesus.”
ALUMNA OF THE YEAR
“People are all in need of grace and are all at different levels of their spiritual development,” says Carrie (DeZwaan) Kalumbula ’99, who has worked with students of all ages since graduating with a BRE from Grace and a BS in Education from Cornerstone University in 1999.
Carrie played basketball—landed in the Grace Tigers Hall of Fame— and became the assistant coach.
In 1997, Carrie and Kizombo married, and in 2001, she became the Grace women’s resident director. At church, Carrie coordinated children’s ministries. She homeschools their six children and two nephews.
“We hope and pray [our children] will grow up to be godly individuals who also are prepared to serve God,” Carrie says.
ALUMNA OF THE YEAR
Born in Africa to missionaries, Abby Pickett planned to return there after high school. But when her father began teaching at
Milwaukee Bible College, plans changed. Abby attended for three years and finished her degree at the University of Dubuque in 1962.
“I enjoyed the friendships of other Christian boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, that I had not had on the mission field,” Abby says. “Socially it was good, of course, spiritually it was excellent.”
Abby taught in Grandville, Michigan until 2002. She earned two master’s degrees from Western Michigan University and faithfully served in Grace Gospel Fellowship churches.
All through the Word of God we find these specific instances of how God goes before us, and this day and what your future holds is no different if you will allow Him to go before you in every decision that you make . . . I want to stand here today as proof that if we allow Him to go before us and just be led of Him that there is no challenge that cannot be met with His help.
Robert Baum ’21, B.S. Psychology, High Honors
2021 Commencement Speaker | Online
One thing that the Lord has taught me, and something that the GCU’s graduate program has reinforced, is that challenges aren’t circumstances that should frustrate or bother us, but rather they’re opportunities for us to watch God do truly amazing things. Stepping back and waiting on the Lord requires faith.
Michelle Kilgo ’21, M.A. Organizational Leadership
2021 Commencement Speaker | Graduate
Written by: Aubrey Kyle ’19. Aubrey works in a range of print and visual media, creative projects, and ministries in the Midwest.