Elizabeth Dole, North Way Pastor to Send Off College’s Largest Graduating Class

GROVE CITY, Pa. – Grove City College will send off its largest graduating class in school history with a Commencement ceremony headlined by former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole. Dr. Jay Passavant, senior pastor of North Way Christian Community in Wexford, Pa., will present the Baccalaureate address this year.

Dole will address approximately 615 graduates at 10 a.m. May 15 in an outdoor ceremony on the Quad between Harbison Chapel and Crawford Hall. Passavant will offer a sermon to students at a 7 p.m. Baccalaureate ceremony on May 14, also planned for the Quad.

In the case of inclement weather, both events will be moved to the Arena of the Physical Learning Center.

Dole was elected as North Carolina’s first female senator in 2002 and served one six-year term. During her term, she chaired the National Republican Senatorial Committee for two years.

She began her career in public service as deputy special assistant for consumer affairs under Richard Nixon and then served five years as a member of the Federal Trade Commission. In 1983, Dole joined Ronald Reagan’s cabinet as secretary of transportation, and later served as secretary of labor under President George H.W. Bush. She ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000. Prior to her campaign, she was president of the American Red Cross for eight years.

A native of North Carolina, Dole earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her master’s and juris doctorate from Harvard University. She is married to former 1996 Republican presidential nominee and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas.

Passavant was ordained in the United Presbyterian Church in 1974 and joined North Way in 1981. North Way is a thriving congregation of nearly 4,000 members in three locations.

Passavant hosts a national broadcast television show focusing on marriage and family advice, “Reality Talks!” with Dr. Kevin Leman. He also recently began a weekly radio broadcast addressing topics like parenting and personal issues.

Under Passavant’s leadership, North Way has focused on area educational needs. In 2006, North Way collaborated with Pittsburgh public schools, Family Guidance, Inc., and other area churches through L.A.M.P. (Learning and Mentoring Partnership) to offer mentors, services and resources to inner city children.

Passavant holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington & Lee University and the master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. He was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

He and his wife, Carol, have three married children, including Grove City College graduates Amy (Passavant ’97) D’Ambrosio and Jonathan ’01.

This release is available for download at www.gcc.edu/news, where subscribers can also sign up for RSS feeds. Media may contact Rebecca Miller at [email protected] or (724) 450-1517 for further details.

Grove City College has been listed as one of 100 “Best Value Colleges for 2009” by The Princeton Review. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has named Grove City one of 50 All-American Colleges, ranking it high for increasing students’ civic literacy. Grove City College has been named a Best Value and one of the best colleges in America by U.S. News & World Report. The Young America’s Foundation calls Grove City one of the Top Ten Conservative Schools in the country. Founded in 1876, it is located 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, Pa. With an enrollment of 2,500 students, Grove City is a private Christian college teaching the liberal arts, sciences and engineering. It is an advocate of the free market economic system and accepts no federal funding. Tuition is about half the national average for private colleges.